nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2009‒08‒02
five papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Journal rankings in economics: handle with care By Howard J. Wall
  2. A Suggested Method for the Measurement of World-Leading Research (Illustrated with Data on Economics) By Oswald, Andrew J.
  3. Ranking Economic History Journals: A Citation-Based Impact-Adjusted Analysis By Gianfranco Di Vaio; Jacob Weisdorf
  4. The Internal Politics of Journal Editing By Barnett, William A.
  5. A Case of Mimetic Isomorphism: A Short-Cut to Increasing Loyalty to Academia By Orkodashvili, Mariam

  1. By: Howard J. Wall
    Abstract: Nearly all journal rankings in economics use some weighted average of citations to calculate a journal's impact. These rankings are often used, formally or informally, to help assess the publication success of individual economists or institutions. Although ranking methods and opinions are legion, scant attention has been paid to the usefulness of any ranking as representative of the many articles published in a journal. First, because the distributions of citations across articles within a journal are seriously skewed, and the skewness differs across journals, the appropriate measure of central tendency is the median rather than the mean. Second, large shares of articles in the highest-ranked journals are cited less frequently than typical articles in much-lower-ranked journals. Finally, a ranking that uses the h-index is very similar to one that uses total citations, making it less than ideal for assessing the typical impact of articles within a journal.
    Keywords: Economics
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Oswald, Andrew J. (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: Countries often spend billions on university research. There is growing interest in how to assess whether that money is well spent. Is there an objective way to assess the quality of a nation's world-leading science? I attempt to suggest a method, and illustrate it with modern data on economics. Of 450 genuinely world-leading journal articles, the UK produced 10%, and the rest of Europe slightly more. Interestingly, more than a quarter of these elite UK articles came from outside the best-known university departments. The proposed methodology could be applied to almost any academic discipline or nation.
    Keywords: Research Excellence Framework (REF), peer-review, United Kingdom, European economics, evaluation, science, citations, Research Assessment Exercise (RAE)
    JEL: A1 O38
    Date: 2009–07
  3. By: Gianfranco Di Vaio (Faculty of Economics, Libera Università Internazionale delle Scienze Sociali); Jacob Weisdorf (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: This study ranks - for the first time - 12 international academic journals that have economic history as their main topic. The ranking is based on data collected for the year 2007. Journals are ranked using standard citation analysis where we adjust for age, size and self-citation of journals. We also compare the leading economic history journals with the leading journals in economics in order to measure the influence on economics of economic history, and vice versa. With a few exceptions, our results confirm the general idea about what economic history journals are the most influential for economic history, and that, although economic history is quite independent from economics as a whole, knowledge exchange between the two fields is indeed going on.
    Keywords: economic history; journal ranking; citation analysis; scientometrics; impact factor
    JEL: A10 A11 A14 N10
    Date: 2009–06
  4. By: Barnett, William A.
    Abstract: I have been invited to write an essay for The American Economist on my experiences as founder and editor of the Cambridge University Press journal, Macroeconomic Dynamics. I have decided to focus the essay on my experiences in starting up the journal. Few economists, who have not themselves started up a new journal, are aware of the nature of the process and its sometimes very complicated academic politics.
    Keywords: journal editing; essay; academic politics; interviews; macroeconomics; dynamics
    JEL: E0 A20 B00 A10
    Date: 2009–07–24
  5. By: Orkodashvili, Mariam
    Abstract: The paper discusses the process of shortening career path to leadership positions in academia that could serve as an example of mimetic isomorphism, where university tries to apply business-like quick result-oriented strategies. This strategy incentivizes young faculty to stay in universities and keep loyalty to academia. This process could also be one step towards bringing academia and business closer: breeding academic loyalty through business-type strategies of quick promotion.
    Keywords: mimetic isomorphism; career path in academia; promotion; academic loyalty
    JEL: D21 A23 I21
    Date: 2008–09–30

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