nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2012‒05‒15
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Compétition académique et modes de production scientifique des économistes français : Quelques résultats économétriques du dispositif P.E. S. By Yann Kossi; Jean-Yves Lesueur; Mareva Sabatier
  2. Science and Technology Studies: Exploring the Knowledge Base By Martin, Ben; Nightingale, P.; Yegros-Yegros, A.
  3. Evaluating students' evaluations of professors By Michela Braga; Marco Paccagnella; Michele Pellizzari

  1. By: Yann Kossi (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France); Jean-Yves Lesueur (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France); Mareva Sabatier (Université de Savoie, IAE Savoie - Mont Blanc BP 80439, 74944 Annecy-le-Vieux Cedex, France)
    Abstract: This paper studies the determinants of scientific productivity from an original database of French academic economists observed in 2009 and 2010. All individuals of this data set were involved in the first and second experiences of the “Prime excellence Scientifique”. This academic competition was introduced by the French academic system to select best publishers and PhD supervisors. The context of this competition conforms to the tournament theory in two points. The scientific productivity was observed in a same period from 2005 to 2010 and competitors are selected and ranked by their relative performance in publications using the same criteria (National Scientific Research Center ranking). We construct a scientific production index and estimate productivity regressions using censored data models (Tobit). We control for individual characteristics like age, gender, environmental context, initial publication performance (h index), in line with stylized facts and theoretical foundations like Lotka law, Matthews effect and scientific life cycle productivity. The paper brings two novel dimensions in the literature. The first is done by controlling for the multi-task activities of tenure and associated professor when evaluating their scientific production. We control for the time allowed to alternative occupation like teaching, doctoral supervision, administrative and scientific responsibilities. The second outcome of the paper consists to evaluate the impact of network spillovers externalities induced by local competences accumulated in economics departments (coauthorship, peer externalities...), on each individual performance.
    Keywords: Tournament theory, academic competition, scientific production, Lotka’s law, network externalities
    JEL: C0 D0 J0
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Martin, Ben; Nightingale, P.; Yegros-Yegros, A.
    Abstract: Science and Technology Studies (STS) is one of a number of new research fields to emerge over the last four or five decades. This paper attempts to identify its core academic contributions using the methodology developed by Fagerberg et al. (2011) in their parallel study of Innovation Studies. The paper uses the references cited by the authors of chapters in a number of authoritative 'handbooks', based on the assumption that those authors will collectively have been reasonably comprehensive in identifying the core contributions to the field. The study analyses the publications most highly cited by the handbook authors, in particular examining their content and what they reveal about the various phases in the development of STS. The second part of the study analyses the 'users' of the STS core contributions who have cited these contributions in their own work, exploring their research fields, journals, and geographical location. The paper concludes with some comparisons between STS and the fields of Innovation Studies and Entrepreneurship, in particular with regard to the role of 'institution builders' in helping to develop a new research field.
    Keywords: science studies, STS, knowledge base, core contributions, institution builders
    JEL: N01 O33 B29 O14
    Date: 2011–09
  3. By: Michela Braga (University of Milan); Marco Paccagnella (Bank of Italy); Michele Pellizzari (Bocconi University, IGIER and IZA)
    Abstract: This paper contrasts measures of teacher effectiveness with the students’ evaluations of the same teachers using administrative data from Bocconi University (Italy). The effectiveness measures are estimated by comparing the subsequent performance in follow-on coursework of students who are randomly assigned to teachers in each of their compulsory courses. We find that, even in a setting where the syllabuses are fixed, teachers still matter substantially. Additionally, we find that our measure of teacher effectiveness is negatively correlated with the students’ evaluations of professors: in other words, teachers who are associated with better subsequent performance receive worse evaluations from their students. We rationalize these results with a simple model where teachers can either engage in real teaching or in teaching-to-the-test, the former requiring greater student effort than the latter. Teaching-to-the-test guarantees high grades in the current course but does not improve future outcomes. Hence, if students are short-sighted and give better evaluations to teachers from whom they derive higher utility in a static framework, the model is capable of predicting our empirical finding that good teachers receive bad evaluations.
    Keywords: teacher quality, postsecondary education
    JEL: I20
    Date: 2011–10

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