SSRN-Are Elite Universities Losing Their Competitive Edge? by E. Han Kim, Adair Morse, Luigi Zingales: "
"Abstract:I stumbled upon this one while trying to find Zingales' cross listing paper. While not as exciting as some pure finance papers, it is interesting and fits well with what most would have predicted, namely that location no longer matters for much.
We study the location-specific component in research productivity of economics and finance faculty who have ever been affiliated with the top 25 universities in the last three decades. We find that there was a positive effect of being affiliated with an elite university in the 1970s; this effect weakened in the 1980s and disappeared in the 1990s. We decompose this university fixed effect and find that its decline is due to the reduced importance of physical access to productive research colleagues....Our results shed some light on the potential effects of the internet revolution on knowledge-based industries."
(I say that writing from the center of the Universe: Olean NY! ;))