Slim pickings high up on the ladder

From Nobel laureate economist Richard Thaler’s Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics:

A competitive labor market does do a pretty good job of channeling people into jobs that suit them. But ironically, this logic may become less compelling as we move up the managerial ladder. All economists are at least pretty good at economics, but many who are chosen to be department chair fail miserably at that job. This is the famous Peter Principle: people keep getting promoted until they reach their level of incompetence.

I wrote an article called Academic Medicine and the Peter Principle back in 2019, and the mismatch between merit for admission, merit for promotion, and skill at a given position explains so much about so many rudderless institutions.

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