The paper contributes to the debate on cumulative advantage effects in academic research by examining top performance in research and its persistence over time, using a panel dataset comprising the publications of biomedical and exact scientists at the KU Leuven in the period 1992-2001. We study the selection of researchers into productivity categories and analyze how they switch between these categories over time. About 25% achieves top performance at least once, while 5% is persistently top. Analyzing the hazard to first and subsequent top performance shows strong support for an accumulative process. Rank, gender, hierarchical position and past performance are highly significant explanatory factors.Economics of science; Effects; Factors; Hazard models; Performance; Persistence; Processes; Productivity; Research; Research productivity; Researchers; Scientists; Selection; Studies; Time;
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