nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2013‒04‒27
four papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Do Large Departments Make Academics More Productive? Agglomeration and Peer Effects in Research By Clément Bosquet; Pierre-Philippe Combes
  2. Quantitative evaluation of alternative field normalization procedures By Li Yunrong; Filippo Radicchi; Claudio Castellano; Javier Ruiz-Castillo
  3. H Index: A Statistical Proposal By Paola Cerchiello; Paolo Giudici
  4. Soll man das Handelsblatt-Ranking BWL boykottieren? By Dilger, Alexander

  1. By: Clément Bosquet (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - Aix-Marseille Univ. - Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole Centrale Marseille (ECM), SERC - Spatial Economic Research Center - London School of Economics and Political Science); Pierre-Philippe Combes (AMSE - Aix-Marseille School of Economics - Aix-Marseille Univ. - Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - Ecole Centrale Marseille (ECM), CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research)
    Abstract: We study the effect of a large set of department characteristics on individual publication records. We control for many individual time-varying characteristics, individual fixed-effects and reverse causality. Department characteristics have an explanatory power that can be as high as that of individual characteristics. The departments that generate most externalities are those where academics are homogeneous in terms of publication performance and have diverse research fields, and, to a lesser extent, large departments, with more women, older academics, star academics and foreign co-authors. Department specialisation in a field also favours publication in that field. More students per academic does not penalise publication. At the individual level, women and older academics publish less, while the average publication quality increases with average number of authors per paper, individual field diversity, number of published papers and foreign co-authors.
    Keywords: research productivity determinants; economic geography; networks; economics of science; selection and endogeneity
    Date: 2013–04
  2. By: Li Yunrong; Filippo Radicchi; Claudio Castellano; Javier Ruiz-Castillo
    Abstract: The use of citation numbers for the assessment of research quality has become highly relevant in modern science. Although it is well known that scientific domains strongly differ in terms of citation rates, bibliometric indicators currently used in research assessment are often based on the sole use of raw citation numbers. This necessarily leads to unfair evaluation procedures in cross-disciplinary contexts. For this reason, there is an increasing trend towards the formulation of normalization procedures able to suppress disproportions in citation numbers among scientific domains, and thus to lead to more fair cross-disciplinary evaluation criteria. In this paper, we rigorously test the performance of several field normalization procedures devoted to this purpose. We find that four procedures discussed in the literature do worse than the usual normalization with field averages. The latter drastically reduces citation disproportions among scientific disciplines. Finally, we find that a recently introduced two-parameters normalization scheme reduces citation disproportions to a level very close to the best achievable level of reduction.
    Date: 2013–03
  3. By: Paola Cerchiello (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia); Paolo Giudici (Department of Economics and Management, University of Pavia)
    Abstract: The measurement of the quality of academic research is a rather controversial issue. Recently Hirsch has proposed a measure that has the advantage of summarizing in a single summary statistics all the information that is contained in the citation counts of each scientist. From that seminal paper, a huge amount of research has been lavished, focusing on one hand on the development of correction factors to the h index and on the other hand, on the pros and cons of such measure proposing several possible alternatives. Although the h index has received a great deal of interest since its very beginning, only few papers have analyzed its statistical properties and implications, typically from an asymptotic viewpoint. In the present work we propose an exact statistical approach to derive the distribution of the h index. To achieve this objective we work directly on the two basic components of the h index: the number of produced papers and the related citation counts vector, by introducing convolution models. Our proposal is applied to a database of homogeneous scientists made up of 131 full professors of statistics employed in Italian universities. The results show that while ”sufficient” authors are reasonably well detected by a crude bibliometric approach, outstanding ones are underestimated, motivating the development of a statistical based h index. Our proposal offers such development and in particular exact confidence intervals to compare authors as well as quality control thresholds that can be used as target values.
    Date: 2013–04
  4. By: Dilger, Alexander
    Abstract: Das Handelsblatt-Ranking BWL erschien 2012 zum zweiten Mal und wurde von über 300 Wissenschaftlern boykottiert. Nach Vorstellung des Rankings und der wichtigsten Argumente für den Boykott werden wesentliche Diskussionsbeiträge zu dem Ranking und Boykott präsentiert und kommentiert. Dabei zeigt sich, dass insbesondere die geringe praktische Bedeutung dieses Rankings gegen seinen Boykott spricht, für den diese Bedeutung übertrieben und durch den sie sogar etwas gesteigert wurde. Folglich sollte man das Handelsblatt-Ranking BWL besser detailliert kritisieren oder ignorieren statt boykottieren. -- The Handelsblatt-Ranking for Business Administration has been published in 2012 for the second time and was boycotted by more than 300 academics. After describing the ranking and the main arguments for its boycott, essential contributions to the discussion about the ranking and its boycott are presented and commented. Thereby it is shown that in particular the low practical relevance of this ranking is an argument against its boycott, for which this relevance has been exaggerated and by which it has even been increased a little bit. Therefore one should better criticise this ranking in detail or ignore it instead of a boycott.
    JEL: I23 A11 M00
    Date: 2013

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