nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2012‒09‒03
four papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Which Journal Rankings Best Explain Academic Salaries? Evidence from the University of California By John Gibson; David L. Anderson; John Tressler
  2. Econometric Fellows and Nobel Laureates in Economics By Ho Fai Chan; Benno Torgler
  3. Research grants, sources of ideas and the effects on academic research By Hottenrott, Hanna; Lawson, Cornelia
  4. Human capital externalities, departmental co-authorship and research productivity. By Frank Neri; Joan Rodgers

  1. By: John Gibson (University of Waikato); David L. Anderson (Queen's University); John Tressler (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: The ranking of an academic journal is important to authors, universities, journal publishers and research funders. Rankings are gaining prominence as countries adopt regular research assessment exercises that especially reward publication in high impact journals. Yet even within a rankings-oriented discipline like economics there is no agreement on how aggressively lower ranked journals are down-weighted and in how wide is the universe of journals considered. Moreover, since it is typically less costly for authors to cite superfluous references, whether of their own volition or prompted by editors, than it is to ignore relevant ones, rankings based on citations may be easily manipulated. In contrast, when the merits of publication in one journal or another are debated during hiring, promotion and salary decisions, the evaluators are choosing over actions with costly consequences. We therefore look to the academic labor market, using data on economists in the University of California system to relate their lifetime publications in 700 different academic journals to salary. We test amongst various sets of journal rankings, and publication discount rates, to see which are most congruent with the returns implied by the academic labor market.
    Keywords: journal rankings; academic labor market
    JEL: A14 I23
    Date: 2012–08–10
  2. By: Ho Fai Chan (QUT); Benno Torgler (QUT)
    Abstract: An academic award is method by which peers offer recognition of intellectual efforts. In this paper we take a purely descriptive look at the relationship between becoming a Fellow of the Econometric Society and receiving the Nobel Prize in economics. We discover some interesting aspects: of all 69 Nobel Prize Laureates between 1969 and 2011, only 9 of them were not also Fellows. Moreover, the proportion of future Nobel winners among the Fellows has been quite high throughout time and a large share of researchers who became Fellows between the 1930s and 1950s became Nobel Laureates at a later stage. On average, researchers become Fellows relatively early in their career (14.9 years after their PhD) and those who were subsequently made Nobel Laureates become Fellows earlier than other researchers. Interestingly, Harvard and MIT have been the dominant PhD granting institutions to generate Fellows and Nobel Laureates in the past.
    Keywords: Fellows of the Econometric Society, Nobel Laureate, economics of science, awards.
    JEL: D71 A14
    Date: 2012–08–14
  3. By: Hottenrott, Hanna; Lawson, Cornelia
    Abstract: Based on a sample of research units in science and engineering at German universities, this study reports survey evidence showing that research grants impact research content. Research units that receive funds from industry are more likely to source ideas from the private sector. The higher the share of industry funding on the units' total budget, the more likely that large firms influenced the research agenda. Public research grants, on the other hand, are associated with a higher importance of conferences and scientific sources. What is more, the different sources of ideas impact scientific output. Research units that source research ideas from small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) patent more, but not more successful than others in terms of the impact of their inventions on future patents. If, on the other hand, research units source ideas from large firms we find them to publish less and with lower impact on future scientific work. --
    Keywords: University Research,Scientific Productivity,Research Funding,Academic Patents,Technology Transfer
    JEL: C23 I23 O31 O34 O38
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Frank Neri (University of Wollongong); Joan Rodgers (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: Lucas (1988) hypothesised that human capital externalities explain persistent productivity growth and become manifest via interactions between workplace colleagues. Consistent with the first part of this hypothesis, Fox and Milbourne (2006) concluded that an increase in the average level of human capital in Australian economics departments raised the research productivity of departmental members. This paper tests the robustness of this finding by using a direct, rather than a proxy, measure of human capital and confirms the existence of human capital externalities within Australian economics departments. But we go further by investigating the second part of Lucas’ hypothesis. Whilst there are numerous ways in which departmental colleagues may interact, we investigate whether the externality becomes manifest via co-authorship. We find no evidence that this type of interaction significantly enhances research productivity, especially for higher quality outputs.
    Keywords: productivity; externalities; human capital
    JEL: J24 D62
    Date: 2012

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