nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2009‒08‒16
two papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. The Excellence in Research for Australia Scheme: An Evaluation of the Draft Journal Weights for Economics By David L. Anderson; John Tresler
  2. Government Oversight of Public Universities: Are Centralized Performance Schemes Related to Increased Quantity or Quality? By A. Abigail Payne; Joanne Roberts

  1. By: David L. Anderson (Queen's University); John Tresler (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: In February 2008, the Australian Government announced its intention to develop a new quality and evaluation system for research conducted at the nation’s universities. Although the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) scheme will utilize several measures to evaluate institutional performance, we have chosen to focus on one element only: the assessment of refereed journal article output based on ERA’s own journal weighting scheme. The ERA weighting scheme will undoubtedly shape the reward structure facing university administrators and individual academics. Our objective is to explore the nature of the ERA weighting scheme for economics, and to demonstrate how it impacts on departmental and individual researcher rankings relative to rankings generated by alternative schemes employed in the economics literature. In order to do so, we utilise data from New Zealand’s economics departments and the draft set of journal weights (DERA) released in August 2008 by ERA officials. Given the similarities between Australia and New Zealand, our findings should have relevance to the Australian scene. As a result, we hope to provide the reader with a better understanding of the type of research activity that influences DERA rankings at both the departmental and individual level.
    Keywords: economics departments; university rankings; research output; ERA
    JEL: A19 C81 J24
    Date: 2009–07–31
  2. By: A. Abigail Payne; Joanne Roberts
    Abstract: Universities are engaged in many activities; primarily, research and teaching. Many states have instituted performance measures that focus on evaluating a university's success in teaching. We suggest that multitasking may be important in this context, and we consider research outcomes after adoption. We find striking results that depend on university status. Research activity is higher at flagship institutions after the adoption of performance measures. Most of this increase in activity is with respect to the level of research funding and the number of articles produced. In contrast, research funding and the number of publications is dramatically lower at non-flagship institutions. There is some evidence that citations per publication at non-flagship institutions are higher after the adoption of performance standards. The evidence suggests that universities have become more specialized since the introduction of these programs.
    JEL: H3 H4
    Date: 2009–01–23

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