nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2007‒11‒24
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Journal Evaluation by Environmental and Resource Economists: A Survey By Rousseau Sandra
  2. Why the Econometrician is in Good Spirits – a workshop through the looking glass By Carl Hampus Lyttkens
  3. The Unequal Benefits of Academic Patenting for Science and Engineering Research. By Mario Calderini; Chiara Franzoni; Andrea Vezzulli

  1. By: Rousseau Sandra (K.U.Leuven-Center for Economic Studies)
    Abstract: Using an online survey, we have asked the researchers in the field of environmental and resource economics how they themselves would rank a representative list of journals in their field. The results of this ranking are then compared to the ordering based on the journals’ impact factors as published by Thomson Scientific. The two sets of rankings seem to be positively correlated, but statistically the null hypothesis that the two rankings are uncorrelated cannot be rejected. This observation suggests that researchers interpret the current quality of journals based on other factors in addition to the impact factors.
    Date: 2007–11
  2. By: Carl Hampus Lyttkens
    Abstract: This paper aims to explore the determinants of research-related quality of life (RRQoL) of econometricians in health economics. It is well-known (standard expression for not bothering to look up the references) that an extensive literature deals with the measurement and determinants of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) of the general population. However, if the standard neo-classical paradigm applies (self-interested, utility-maximising behaviour, etc), scientists are of course much more interested in the wellbeing of scientists than of other people. In addition to its intrinsic interest, this is an important issue for public policy. Analogously to the extra-welfarist approach in health economics (Hurley 2000), we may assume that the purpose of allocating funds to the scientific community is to maximise their RRQoL. We may safely assume that this interpretation is endorsed by the scientists in question (supplier-induced demand). While these issues are of considerable general interest, the analysis here focuses on individuals engaged in econometrics and health economics, due to the availability of a unique data set from the 16th European Workshop on Econometrics and Health Economics (cf. section 4). The analysis is based on a scientific principle established by Sellar & Yeatman (1975[1930]), who showed that “history is what you can remember.”1 This led them to such eloquent deductions as the observation (p. 83) that after the Glorious Revolution England was ruled by an orange (Williamanmary) or that the Danish conquest of England was a Good Thing as it was the cause of Alfred the Cake (p.16).2 Similarly, economics can be defined as those economic analyses that are memorable. Hence it comprises such important findings as the deadweight loss of Christmas (Waldfogel 1993)3 or that males can maximise their survival probability by becoming 185 centimetres tall or more (Fogel 1994).4 Following the Sellar-Yeatman principle, the analysis below is based on the author’s recollection from the Workshop in question. To minimise recollection bias, the first draft of the paper was composed during the very early morning flight (06.55 am) from Bergen to Copenhagen (survival analysis).5
    Date: 2007–11
  3. By: Mario Calderini (DISPEA, Polytechnic of Turin, Turin, Italy.); Chiara Franzoni (DISPEA, Polytechnic of Turin, Turin, Italy.); Andrea Vezzulli (CESPRI, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy.)
    Abstract: We analyzed the scientific productivity of a sample of academic scientists that contribute to the field of Materials Science in the post-patenting period, by means of several econometric techniques suitable to treat unobserved heterogeneity, excess zeros and incidental truncation. Although patents do not alter the track of publications in the overall sample, we show this effect to be generated by two opposite effects: Materials Engineers increase their publications after patenting, whereas Materials Chemists experience a decrease. Besides, Materials Engineers who were academic inventors have a higher impact factor than their non-inventors colleagues, although the positive effect tends to vanish both for very basic publications and for serial inventions. Finally, a clearly negative effect is registered when we consider only very basic publications made by Materials Chemists. We interpret our findings as depending on different epistemologies of scientific and engineering research and discuss the implications for both university managers and policy makers.
    Keywords: Academic Patenting, Science and Engineering Research, Technology Transfer, Science Policy, University Management.
    JEL: O31 O33 I23 I28
    Date: 2007–10

This nep-sog issue is ©2007 by Jonas Holmström. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.