nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2012‒11‒03
four papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Do collaborations enhance the high-quality output of scientific institutions? Evidence from the Italian Research Assessment Exercise (2001-2003) By Maria Rosaria Carillo; Erasmo Papagni; Alessandro Sapio
  2. (How) Do research and administrative duties affect university professors’ teaching? By Aurora García-Gallego; Nikolaos Georgantzís; Joan Martín-Montaner; Teodosio Pérez-Amaral
  3. Retractions By Pierre Azoulay; Jeffrey L. Furman; Joshua L. Krieger; Fiona E. Murray

  1. By: Maria Rosaria Carillo; Erasmo Papagni; Alessandro Sapio (-)
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyse the effects of research collaborations on the scientific output of academic institutions, drawing on data from the first official Italian research assessment exercise. We measure the scientific performance of a research unit as the number of publications that received an excellent grade in the evaluation process. Different aspects of scientific collaboration are taken into account, such as the degree of openness of a research team towards other institutions and/or other countries, the frequency of co-authorships, and the average size of a collaborating team. Using econometric models for count data, we find that collaborations are more effective when they imply knowledge exchange resulting from collaboration with external or foreign colleagues, are very frequent, and the collaborating teams have a small size.
    Keywords: Academic departments; Productivity; Knowledge externalities
    JEL: I21 D2
    Date: 2012–06–15
  2. By: Aurora García-Gallego (LEE & Economics Department-Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain.); Nikolaos Georgantzís (Economics Department, Universidad de Granada & LEE-Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain.); Joan Martín-Montaner (IEI & Economics Department-Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain.); Teodosio Pérez-Amaral (Departamento de Economía Cuantitativa (Department of Quantitative Economics), Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales (Faculty of Economics and Business), Universidad Complutense de Madrid.)
    Abstract: We analyze the interaction between university professors’ teaching quality and their research and administrative activities. Our sample is a high-quality individual panel data set from a medium size public Spanish university. Although, researchers teach roughly 20% more than non-researchers, their teaching quality is also 20% higher. Over much of the relevant range, we find a nonlinear and positive effect of research output and teaching quantity on teaching quality. Instructors with no research are 5 times more likely than the rest to be among the worst teachers and up to two-thirds of the professors could improve their teaching by increasing research.
    Keywords: University professors'; Teaching quality; Public Spanish university; Research and administrative activities.
    Date: 2012–09
  3. By: Pierre Azoulay; Jeffrey L. Furman; Joshua L. Krieger; Fiona E. Murray
    Abstract: To what extent does "false science" impact the rate and direction of scientific change? We examine the impact of more than 1,100 scientific retractions on the citation trajectories of articles that are close neighbors of retracted articles in intellectual space but were published prior to the retraction event. Our results indicate that following retraction and relative to carefully selected controls, related articles experience a lasting five to ten percent decline in the rate at which they are cited. We probe the mechanisms that might underlie these negative spillovers over intellectual space. One view holds that adjacent fields atrophy post-retraction because the shoulders they offer to follow-on researchers have been proven to be shaky or absent. An alternative view holds that scientists avoid the "infected" fields lest their own status suffers through mere association. Two pieces of evidence are consistent with the latter view. First, for-profit citers are much less responsive to the retraction event than are academic citers. Second, the penalty suffered by related articles is much more severe when the associated retracted article includes fraud or misconduct, relative to cases where the retraction occurred because of honest mistakes.
    JEL: O33
    Date: 2012–10
    Abstract: Within the UK, considerable policy support has been provided to create multi-disciplinary institutes to encourage academics to develop new knowledge to address industry and societal problems. We consider four large traditional UK universities that have gained significant funding for such activities. We examine the changes in institutional structures necessary to enable universities to transform from single discipline based schools to multi-disciplinary institutes. New incentives for working across schools, the cross subsidy transfer of industry funded research and teaching income and senior role models are observed to enable the development of a multi-disciplinary research capability. Yet, this capability is not easily sustained. It appears that for institutes to survive beyond the initial funding round they regress towards traditional school activities of peer reviewed research and teaching. We conclude that to transform academic behaviour a fundamental shift in promotion procedures, that remain heavily weighted towards peer reviewed journal publication within single disciplines, is required.
    Keywords: universities; research; knowledge; institutional theory; evolutionary theory.
    Date: 2012–06

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