In economics, that is. A new paper by Daniel Hamermesh and Gerard Pfann tries to answer that question. Their abstract is worded a little awkwardly, I would summarize their results as follows:
1. Adjusting for citations and other measures, "reputation" (defined both in terms of awards and the quality of the department you inhabit), does not rise with the quantity of articles published by an individual.
2. Adjusting for citations and other variables, having your citations in a single dominant piece, rather than scattered across a greater number of pieces, does not predict reputation.
3. The quantity of articles published does predict mobility and salary (adjusting for quality), even though it does not predict reputation.
I take the lesson to be that lots of schools — non-top departments — want to hire churners with a lot of published output. I'm a little worried about which quality measures should be predicting which in this paper, but nonetheless the results rang true to my ear. The paper (NBER) is here. Angus also comments.