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Intellectual inbreeding or academic inbreeding refers to the practice in academia of a university's hiring its own graduates to be professors. It is generally viewed as insular and unhealthy for academia; it is thought to reduce the possibility of new ideas coming in from outside sources, just as genetic inbreeding reduces the possibility of new genes entering into a population.
Economists David Colander and Arjo Klamer, Ph.D. wrote a book titled The Making of an Economist, which researched the growing concern behind the methodology of academic teaching and the lowering numbers of PhDs in economics granted annually in the United States. Colander and Klamer state that the trend of a shrinking number of economic professors teaching at the university level would result in intellectual inbreeding.
According to the Commission on Graduate Education in Economics (COGEE), they recognize it as "a trend for emulation rather than diversification." Academic inbreeding has also been cited as a major problem in the major universities of the People's Republic of China—such as Peking University and Tsinghua University, which have adopted measures in recent years specifically to combat the practice—and South Korea.
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