Aristocracy or Meritocracy? The Role of Elite Pedigree and Research Performance in New Accounting Faculty Placements

Sid Carin Bundy, Partha S. Mohapatra, Matthew Sooy, Dan N. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates the joint and complex influences of elitism and merit in the hiring of new accounting faculty. Building on research showing that search committees value pedigree in hiring new faculty, we theorize both aristocratic (e.g., accessing or reinforcing elite networks) and meritocratic (e.g., signaling stronger future research potential) influences on the hiring of new accounting faculty. Using curriculum vitae from 381 Accounting Ph.D. Rookie Recruiting and Research Camps, we examine whether candidates graduating from elite accounting institutions place disproportionately higher than do their non-elite peers. Results suggest that elite pedigree predicts placement rank among candidates without favorable publication outcomes at top journals (e.g., acceptance or invitation to resubmit) but not among candidates with favorable publication outcomes. Favorable publication outcomes at other journals are unrelated to placement rank. The results suggest joint and complex aristocratic (elite-based) and meritocratic ( productivity-based) influences in new accounting faculty hiring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-39
Number of pages21
JournalIssues in Accounting Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank workshop participants at ESSEC Business School, Urton Anderson, Brian Bratten, Philip Chung, Hamilton Elkins, Robert Ewing, Adam Jonas, Jeff Payne, Pinky Rusli, Tyson Van Alfen, Valaria Vendrzyk, Hong Xie, Chong Wang, six anonymous reviewers and brown bag participants at the University of Kentucky for thoughtful comments on previous drafts, and Kristen Fuqua for data assistance. Financial support for this research was provided by the University of Kentucky, the Gatton College of Business, the Von Allmen School of Accountancy, and Middle Tennessee State University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, American Accounting Association. All rights reserved.


  • academic accounting
  • accounting research
  • job placements
  • pedigree

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Education


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