nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2010‒06‒11
six papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Trends in economic research: An international perspective By Ana Rute Cardoso; Paulo Guimarães; Klaus F. Zimmermann
  2. Great Expectatrics: Great Papers, Great Journals, Great Econometrics By Chia-Lin Chang; Michael McAleer; Les Oxley
  3. Studies of Evaluation of Economic Instructors: Instruments and Influence By Stephen B. DeLoach
  4. Where do we go from here? Food for thought on academic papers in business research By M. GEUENS;
  5. Is economics coursework, or majoring in economics, associated with different civic behaviors? By Sam Allgood; William Bosshardt; Wilbert van der Klaauw; Michael Watts
  6. Should I stay or should I go? An institutional approach to brain drain By Lea Cassar; Bruno S. Frey

  1. By: Ana Rute Cardoso; Paulo Guimarães; Klaus F. Zimmermann
    Abstract: Given the recent efforts in several countries to reorganize the research institutional setting to improve research productivity, our analysis addresses the following questions: To which extent has the recent awareness over international quality standards in economics around the world been reflected in research performance? How have individual countries fared? Do research quantity and quality indicators tell us the same story? We concentrate on trends taking place since the beginning of the 1990s and rely on a very comprehensive database of scientific journals, to provide a cross-country comparison of the evolution of research in economics. Our findings indicate that Europe is catching-up with the US but, in terms of influential research, the US maintains a dominant position. The main continental European countries, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, experienced some of the largest growth rates in economic scientific output. Other European countries, namely the UK, Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden, have shown remarkable progress in per capita output. Collaborative research seems to be a key factor explaining the relative success of some European countries, in particular when it comes to publishing in top journals, attained predominantly through international collaborations.
    Keywords: research performance; publications; rankings; Europe; North-America; US
    JEL: A10 I20
    Date: 2010–06–02
  2. By: Chia-Lin Chang; Michael McAleer (University of Canterbury); Les Oxley (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: The paper discusses alternative Research Assessment Measures (RAM), with an emphasis on the Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science database (hereafter ISI). The various ISI RAM that are calculated annually or updated daily are defined and analysed, including the classic 2-year impact factor (2YIF), 5-year impact factor (5YIF), Immediacy (or zero-year impact factor (0YIF)), Eigenfactor score, Article Influence, C3PO (Citation Performance Per Paper Online), h-index, Zinfluence, and PI-BETA (Papers Ignored - By Even The Authors). The ISI RAM data are analysed for 8 leading econometrics journals and 4 leading statistics journals. The application to econometrics can be used as a template for other areas in economics, for other scientific disciplines, and as a benchmark for newer journals in a range of disciplines. In addition to evaluating high quality research in leading econometrics journals, the paper also compares econometrics and statistics, alternative RAM, highlights the similarities and differences in alternative RAM criteria, finds that several ISI RAM capture similar performance characteristics for the leading econometrics and statistics journals while the new PI-BETA criterion is not highly correlated with any of the other ISI RAM, and hence conveys additional information regarding ISI RAM, highlights major research areas in leading journals in econometrics, and discusses some likely future uses of RAM.
    Keywords: Research assessment measures; impact factors; Immediacy; Eigenfactor score; Article influence; h-index; C3PO; Zinfluence; PI-BETA
    JEL: C53 C22 E27 E37
    Date: 2010–05–01
  3. By: Stephen B. DeLoach
    Abstract: Decades of research consistently show that student evaluations offer limited information on the effectiveness of teaching in economics. Such methods are at best valid for a relatively small set of factors that correlate with Ògood instruction.Ó Even though some evidence exists that student evaluations are positively correlated with learning, it is clear that strong biases exist. Even though these limitations are well established in the literature and widely believed among faculty, the implementation of alternative or complimentary forms of assessment is notably lacking. The purpose of this paper is to review the current methods used to assess teaching. In the process, the paper proposes a research agenda for economists that aim to assess the reliability and validity of alternative processes such as peer review of teaching. The paper concludes with a number of recommendations for departments of economics that are serious about enhancing both formative as well as summative assessments of teaching.
    Keywords: Teaching, Peer review of teaching, Student evaluation of teaching
    JEL: A2
    Date: 2010–04–30
  4. By: M. GEUENS;
    Abstract: In this paper I comment on some of the adverse practices in business research publications. First, we seem to have lost touch with business practice and have narrowed our target group to fellow academics only, reducing the production of useful knowledge. Second, the objectives of our publications are narrowed to impact and citations. This leads to a strict focus on pathbreaking theories and a denigration of replication and qualitative studies. Third, an obsession with the .05 significance level and corroborating findings have left researchers with full file drawers of unpublished papers and could leave journals with a high rate of type I error papers. Fourth, complex, lengthy articles, the importance of carefully crafting a story around our research and a variety of style guidelines make us less productive than we could be. Finally, a blind reliance on ISI’s impact and citations scores may not do justice to a researcher’s real contribution
    Date: 2010–03
  5. By: Sam Allgood; William Bosshardt; Wilbert van der Klaauw; Michael Watts
    Abstract: Studies regularly link levels of educational attainment to civic behavior and attitudes, but only a few investigate the role played by specific coursework. Using data collected from students who attended one of four public universities in our study, we investigate the relationship between economics coursework and civic behavior after graduation. Drawing from large samples of students in economics, business, or general majors, we compare responses across the three groups and by the number of undergraduate economics courses completed. We find that undergraduate coursework in economics is strongly associated with political party affiliation and with donations to candidates or parties, but not with the decision to vote or not vote. Nor is studying economics correlated with the likelihood (or intensity of) volunteerism. While we find that the civic behavior of economics majors and business majors is similar, it appears that business majors are less likely than general majors to engage in time-consuming behaviors such as voting and volunteering. Finally, we extend earlier studies that address the link between economics coursework and attitudes on public policy issues, finding that graduates who studied more economics usually reported attitudes closer to those expressed in national surveys of U.S. economists. Interestingly, we find the public policy attitudes of business majors to be more like those of general majors than of economics majors.
    Keywords: Education ; Economics - Study and teaching ; Business and education ; Human behavior ; Volunteers
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Lea Cassar; Bruno S. Frey
    Abstract: This paper suggests that institutional factors which reward social networks at the expenses of productivity can play an important role in explaining brain drain. The effects of social networks on brain drain are analyzed in a decision theory framework with asymmetric information. We distinguish between the role of insidership and personal connections. The larger the cost of being an outsider, the smaller is the number and the average ability of researchers working in the domestic job market. Personal connections partly compensate for this effect by attracting highly connected researchers back. However, starting from a world with no distortions, personal connections also increase brain drain.
    Keywords: Brain drain, social networks, institutions, asymmetric information, Italian academia
    JEL: D82 F22 I20 J24 J44
    Date: 2010–06

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