nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2007‒08‒14
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. The Empirical Institutions-Growth Literature: Is Something Amiss at the Top? By John W. Dawson
  2. Ranking universities : how to take better account of diversity By Henry, TULKENS
  3. Enhancing Incentives to Improve Performance in the Education System in France By Paul O'Brien

  1. By: John W. Dawson
    Abstract: The initial publication of the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World index prompted an explosion of empirical research on the institutions-growth relationship. To date, little of this research has appeared in the top economics journals. Subsequently, a number of empirical growth studies using alternative sources of data on institutions have appeared in top journals. This paper explores the two tracks of empirical research on the institutions-growth relationship—one track that recognizes all the relevant literature, and one that seems wanting in that respect.
    Date: 2007
  2. By: Henry, TULKENS (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: In order to rank universities, rather than aggregating the indicators used by the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) - using weightings which, though reasonable, are at the same time arbitrary and inflexible - one can compare universities in termes of dominance and hence deduce various partial or complete rankings. The resultant dominance ranking method is presented in this note. Data are recalled in Appendix 1. Appendix provides full details of the dominance analysis for each university. From this analysis two listings are derived : (i) a front runners list consisting of 34 Ônon-dominatedÕ universities (Table 4) and (ii) a (new) ranking of the 200 universities surveyed by the THES, based on their respective Ôactive-passive dominanceÕ scores (Table 5). Concluding remarks bear on limits of the data and of the exercise.
    Date: 2007–08–02
  3. By: Paul O'Brien
    Abstract: The French education system has a mixed record. A generally very successful pre-school and primary school level contrasts with underfunded public universities with high dropout rates which exist alongside very successful higher education institutions for elites. Initial education, especially secondary education and the universities, along with labour market policies themselves, do not always succeed in improving labour market entry for a significant proportion of young people. Parts of the management of education have been decentralised, yet educational institutions themselves generally have a very restricted degree of autonomy. The system of performance measurement and incentives, at all levels of education, needs to be reviewed. This Working Paper relates to the 2007 OECD Economic Survey of France (, and is also available in French under the title “Renforcer les incitations à une meilleure performance du système éducatif en France”.
    Keywords: education, France
    JEL: H52 I2
    Date: 2007–08–01

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