Last week I asked why the politics and economics job markets seem to have different equilibria. Henry Farrell points me to an old blog post worth revisiting (link fixed):
Within Class I departments, there’s a good deal of variation across disciplines in the degree of factionalization within the elite departments and the solidarity of the exchange system, as measured by within-class exchanges of students.
Economics has the most cohesive elite faction and its “dominance over the entire discipline is overwhelming.” Class I Psychology departments, by contrast, are considerably more decentralized, with three contending factions.
Different measures bring out different aspects of the structure. Economics scores highest on all exchange-based measures of hierarchy and solidarity.
He’s summarizing a 2003 sociology paper on tribal regimes in academia. Worth a peek. Sadly I do not see an ungated copy.