We examine the determinants of membership into the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) using data from all tenured and tenure-track economists at R1 universities in the United States. We construct an annual panel of employment, research productivity, NBER membership, and connectedness to NBER members. Using survival analysis, we show that conditional on controls, the hazard of becoming an NBER member is lower for men. Membership is highly dependent on top-five publications rather than total publications or citations, particularly so for women. Networks play a crucial role in determining NBER membership—especially having same-sex colleagues and advisors who are NBER members.
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