Appointment, Promotion, and Mobility of Bioscience Researchers in Japan

Cornelia Lawson, Sotaro Shibayama

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Using a data set of 370 bioscience professors in Japan, this chapter investigates the effect of PhD training, early career job transition, and international mobility on a professor's probability of both placement at a highly ranked institution and promotion. We found that the prestige of the PhD institution is the best predictor for initial placement and that inbreeding is more common at prestigious institutions. Mobility results in promotion in lower-ranked universities, indicating a strategic decision to move down for promotional benefits. International research visits have a positive effect on promotion but do not affect access to prestigious institutions. Postdoctoral stays have no effect. We also found that merit does not determine promotion duration of early career academics or initial placement but that it does predict promotion to full professor. It also affects the propensity to be placed in a highly ranked university in mid-to late-career stages.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Mobility of Research Scientists
Subtitle of host publicationThe Economics of Who Goes Where and Why
EditorsAldo Geuna
PublisherElsevier BV
Number of pages31
ISBN (Print)9780128013960
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2015


  • Academic labor market
  • Academic mobility
  • Bioscience
  • Career paths
  • Inbreeding
  • Japan
  • Promotion


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