nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2010‒11‒27
two papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Financial Economists, Financial Interests and Dark Corners of the Meltdown: It’s Time to Set Ethical Standards for the Economics Profession By Gerald Epstein; Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth
  2. A citation based ranking of German-speaking researchers in business administration with data of Google Scholar By Dilger, Alexander; Müller, Harry

  1. By: Gerald Epstein; Jessica Carrick-Hagenbarth
    Abstract: Epstein and Carrick-Hagenbarth analyze the conflict of interest that exists when academic financial economists, acting in their roles as presumed objective experts in the media and academia on topics, such as financial regulation, fail to report their private financial affiliations. The authors analyze the linkages between academia, private financial institutions and public institutions of nineteen academic financial economists who are members of two groups who have put forth proposals on financial reform.<span> </span>In addition, they review media writings and appearances, as well as the academic papers of these economists between 2005 and 2009, to determine the portion of the time these economists identified their affiliations with private or public financial institutions when writing about or commenting on financial policy issues. The vast majority of the time, these economists did not identify these affiliations and possible conflicts of interest. In light of these and related findings the authors call for an economists’ code of ethics which would require academic economists to identify these connections in appropriate contexts.
    Keywords: Professional Ethics, Financial Regulation, Academic Economists, Codes of Ethics, conflicts of interest
    JEL: A11 A13
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Dilger, Alexander; Müller, Harry
    Abstract: The quantitative evaluation of research performance in business administration has recently gained some attention in German-speaking countries. This holds especially for rankings of persons, which are discussed controversially. Rankings of academics can be constructed in two different ways, either based on journal rankings or based on citations. Despite citation based rankings promise some fundamental advantages, they are still not common in German-speaking business administration. However, the choice of the underlying data base is crucial. This paper argues that for German-speaking researchers in business administration (as an example for a non-English speaking scientific community in the social sciences) Google Scholar is an appropriate data base. Unfortunately, it contains some structural errors that require diligent corrections. With that in mind, all 1,572 members of the German Academic Association for Business Research (VHB, membership data by 2007) are ranked according to the citations of their recent publications (2005-2009). Obviously the citations follow a Pareto distribution amongst the scholars with large rank differences only at the top. The results are compared to those of the Handelsblatt-BWL-Ranking which is the most prominent journal based ranking of German-speaking academics in this discipline. It becomes clear that differences in method lead to different results. -- Die Messung von Forschungsleistungen mittels quantitativer Indikatoren hat in der deutschsprachigen Betriebswirtschaftslehre an Bedeutung gewonnen. Im Fokus des Interesses wie auch der Kritik stehen insbesondere Personenrankings, für deren Erstellung zwei Ansätze zur Verfügung stehen, entweder aufbauend auf einem Zeitschriftenranking oder direkt auf die individuellen Zitationen bezogen. Obwohl zitationsbasierte Personenrankings konzeptionelle Vorteile gegenüber zeitschriftenbasierten Rankings aufweisen, sind sie in der deutschsprachigen Betriebswirtschaftslehre bislang eher ungebräuchlich. Dabei kommt der verwendeten Datengrundlage eine entscheidende Bedeutung zu. In diesem Beitrag wird argumentiert, dass für die deutschsprachige BWL (als Beispiel für eine nicht genuin englischsprachige Sozialwissenschaft) Google Scholar eine geeignete Grundlage bilden kann. Angesichts einiger struktureller Fehler in Google Scholar erfordert die Erstellung eines Rankings allerdings eine sorgfältige Durchsicht und Nachkorrektur des Datensatzes. Auf diese Weise wurden die insgesamt 1.572 Mitglieder des Verbands der Hochschullehrer für Betriebswirtschaft (VHB, Mitgliederverzeichnis 2007) entsprechend der Zitationen ihrer aktuellen Veröffentlichungen (2005-2009) gerankt. Dabei fällt auf, dass die Zitationen höchst ungleich verteilt sind und einer Pareto-Verteilung entsprechen. Die Ergebnisse werden mit denen des Handelsblatt-BWL-Rankings verglichen, wobei deutlich wird, dass methodische Unterschiede auch zu anderen Resultaten führen.
    JEL: I23 I20 A11 C81 I29 M00
    Date: 2010

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