nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2009‒05‒23
two papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Congestion in academic journals under an impartial selection process By Damien Besancenot; Joao Faria; Kim Huynh
  2. Why do Institutions of Higher Education Reward Research While Selling Education? By Dahlia K. Remler; Elda Pema

  1. By: Damien Besancenot (CEPN - Centre d'économie de l'Université de Paris Nord - CNRS : UMR7115 - Université Paris-Nord - Paris XIII); Joao Faria (IPED - Institute for Policy and Economic Development - University of Texas-El Paso); Kim Huynh (L.E.M. - Laboratoire d'Economie Moderne - Université Paris 2)
    Abstract: This paper studies the publishing game played by researchers and editors when the editors adopt an impartial selection process. It analyzes the possibility of congestion in the editorial process and shows that, depending on the nature of the equilibrium, the rise of the rejection costs could be an inappropriate solution to avoid the congestion effect.
    Keywords: Publication market, Academic journals, Editors, Congestion
    Date: 2009–05–07
  2. By: Dahlia K. Remler; Elda Pema
    Abstract: Higher education institutions and disciplines that traditionally did little research now reward faculty largely based on research, both funded and unfunded. Some worry that faculty devoting more time to research harms teaching and thus harms students’ human capital accumulation. The economics literature has largely ignored the reasons for and desirability of this trend. We summarize, review, and extend existing economic theories of higher education to explain why incentives for unfunded research have increased. One theory is that researchers more effectively teach higher order skills and therefore increase student human capital more than non-researchers. In contrast, according to signaling theory, education is not intrinsically productive but only a signal that separates high- and low-ability workers. We extend this theory by hypothesizing that researchers make higher education more costly for low-ability students than do non-research faculty, achieving the separation more efficiently. We describe other theories, including research quality as a proxy for hard-to-measure teaching quality and barriers to entry. Virtually no evidence exists to test these theories or establish their relative magnitudes. Research is needed, particularly to address what employers seek from higher education graduates and to assess the validity of current measures of teaching quality.
    JEL: I2 I21 I23 J24
    Date: 2009–05

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