nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2009‒04‒05
six papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  2. Spreading Academic Pay over Nine or Twelve Months: Economists Are Supposed to Know Better, but Do They Act Better? By Claar, Victor V; Diestl, Christine M; Poll, Ross D
  3. The measurement of low and high citation impact, or poverty and affluence in citation space By Pedro Albarran; Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin; Javier Ruiz-Castillo
  4. Of Mice and Academics: Examining the Effect of Openness on Innovation By Fiona Murray; Philippe Aghion; Mathias Dewatripont; Julian Kolev; Scott Stern
  5. Determinants of the international influence of a R&D organisation: a bibliometric approach By Aurora A.C. Teixeira; José Sequeira
  6. Do university units differ in the efficiency of resource utilization? By Daghbashyan, Zara

  1. By: Beckmann, Klaus (Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg); Schneider, Andrea (Helmut Schmidt University, Hamburg)
    Abstract: Using a new panel dataset comprising publication and appointment data for 889 German academic economists over a quarter of a century, we confirm the familiar hypothesis that publications are important for professorial appointments, but find only a small negative effect of appointments on subsequent research productivity. In fact, a simple theoretical model leads us to hypothesise that no such effect exists for top researchers ("stars"), which is borne out by our estimation results. We also provide some evidence of the effects of the fundamental reform of economics in Germany and of affirmative action procedures.
    Keywords: Economics of education; research output; publications; academic career
    JEL: I20 I23
    Date: 2009–03–20
  2. By: Claar, Victor V; Diestl, Christine M; Poll, Ross D
    Abstract: Our paper empirically considers two general hypotheses related to the literature of behavioral economics. First, we test the null hypothesis that individuals behave, on average, in a manner more consistent with the rational expectations hypothesis than with the idea of self-control in the face of hyperbolic discounting in their saving decisions. Second, along a variety of dimensions, we examine whether individuals exhibit Herbert Simon’s notion that the goal formation of individuals will differ depending upon their relative levels of experience and knowledge. Perhaps there are significant differences among groups in their saving decisions that depend upon their apparent levels of intelligence, education, and knowledge. Finally, using a variety of individual-specific control variables, we test for robustness of the results.
    Keywords: Consumer Economics; Empirical Analysis; Life Cycle Models and Saving
    JEL: D11 D12 D91
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Pedro Albarran; Ignacio Ortuno-Ortin; Javier Ruiz-Castillo
    Abstract: This paper presents two new graphical devices to describe the lower and the upper tail of a citation distribution, as well as a novel methodology to compare the research performance of two sets of scientists. The key to these contributions is the identification of a citation distribution in any scientific field with an income distribution. Then the approach to poverty measurement developed by economists since Sen (1976) serves to evaluate the lower tail or low impact sector of the citation distribution. The upper tail, or the high impact sector of that distribution is evaluated by means of, say, an affluence measurement approach that is seen to be the reverse of the poverty one. The paper illustrates this methodology comparing the performance of U.S. and European researchers in the nineteen natural sciences, the two social sciences and the Arts and Humanities category distinguished by Thomson Scientific. The critical value of the citation distribution, or the number of citations that separates the low from the high impact articles, is taken to be the one corresponding to the 70th percentile of the world citation distribution. For all values below or equal to the critical one, in 19 fields the low impact of the citation distribution is found to be larger in Europe than in the U.S. according to any low impact indicator in a large class of admissible measures. For all values above the critical one, in 20 fields the high impact of the citation distribution is found to be larger in the U.S. than in Europe according to any high impact indicator in a similarly large admissible class.
    Date: 2009–03
  4. By: Fiona Murray; Philippe Aghion; Mathias Dewatripont; Julian Kolev; Scott Stern
    Abstract: Scientific freedom and openness are hallmarks of academia: relative to their counterparts in industry, academics maintain discretion over their research agenda and allow others to build on their discoveries. This paper examines the relationship between openness and freedom, building on recent models emphasizing that, from an economic perspective, freedom is the granting of control rights to researchers. Within this framework, openness of upstream research does not simply encourage higher levels of downstream exploitation. It also raises the incentives for additional upstream research by encouraging the establishment of entirely new research directions. In other words, within academia, restrictions on scientific openness (such as those created by formal intellectual property (IP)) may limit the diversity and experimentation of basic research itself. We test this hypothesis by examining a "natural experiment" in openness within the academic community: NIH agreements during the late 1990s that circumscribed IP restrictions for academics regarding certain genetically engineered mice. Using a sample of engineered mice that are linked to specific scientific papers (some affected by the NIH agreements and some not), we implement a differences-in-differences estimator to evaluate how the level and type of follow-on research using these mice changes after the NIH-induced increase in openness. We find a significant increase in the level of follow-on research. Moreover, this increase is driven by a substantial increase in the rate of exploration of more diverse research paths. Overall, our findings highlight a neglected cost of IP: reductions in the diversity of experimentation that follows from a single idea.
    JEL: J30
    Date: 2009–03
  5. By: Aurora A.C. Teixeira (CEF.UP, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade do Porto; INESC Porto); José Sequeira (Porto Vivo - Sociedade de Reabilitação Urbana (SRU); INESC Porto)
    Abstract: Traditionally, studies on the influence and impact of knowledge-producing organisations have been addressed by means of strict economic analysis, stressing their economic impact to a local, regional or national extent. In the present study, an alternative methodology is put forward in order to evaluate the international scientific impact and influence of a knowledge-producing and -diffusing institution. We introduce a new methodology, based on scientometric and bibliometric tools, which complement traditional assessments by considering the influence of a R&D institution when looking at the scientific production undertaken and the recognition of its relevance by its international peer community. Focusing on the most prolific scientific areas of INESC Porto, and resorting to published scientific work recorded in the Science Citation Index (SCI), we show that INESC Porto has enlarged its international scientific network. The logit estimations demonstrate that the wide geographical influence of INESC Porto scientific research is a result not of its international positioning in terms of co-authorships, but rather a result of the quality of its scientific output.
    Keywords: Impact and influence assessment methods; R&D Institutions; Bibliometrics, Scientometrics; knowledge network; INESC Porto
    JEL: O39 C81 L31
    Date: 2009–03
  6. By: Daghbashyan, Zara (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: Many efficiency studies have been conducted to look at the relative performance of universities. Judgments were made on the overall performance of universities compared to the best performing ones in the sample. Meanwhile the possibility of efficiency variation within the same university was not taken into account. The focus of this paper is on the measurement of technical efficiency within the units of the same university. It is interesting to see if the average efficiency score of university can reflect the performance of various units operating within the same technical university. The analysis is conducted for the Royal Institute of Technology of Sweden (KTH), using the data from the Research Assessment Exercise conducted by KTH in 2008. It provides a unique opportunity of quantifying different teaching and research outputs while controlling for quality.Technical efficiency scores are estimated using non-parametric production frontier methodologies. Different model specifications are tested.
    Keywords: Technical and scale efficiency; Data envelopment analysis; universities
    JEL: C14 I21 I23
    Date: 2009–04–01

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