Is the Clock Still Ticking? The Effect of Stop the Clock Policies on Career Outcomes in Academia

Colleen Manchester, University of Minnesota
Lisa Leslie, University of Minnesota
Amit Kramer, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Stop-the-clock (STC) policies that allow pre-tenure faculty members who experience productivity shocks to delay their tenure review, were first introduced 40 years ago, yet surprisingly little is known regarding how these policies affect the career outcomes of users. The limited existing research on STC policies suggests that use may have negative career consequences. We hypothesize that faculty members’ use of STC policies for family-related reasons, such as the birth of a child, sends a negative signal regarding their career commitment, and negatively affects career rewards. We test this hypothesis against the explanation that career consequences following policy use reflect lower productivity. We find that faculty members who use STC policies for family reasons experience a wage penalty, which is driven by lower returns to publications, and cannot be explained by differences in productivity. We also find evidence that STC policies are effective at helping faculty members meet research expectations for promotion.

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Presented in Poster Session 7