nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2013‒07‒15
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Robust Ranking of Journal Quality: An Application to Economics By Chia-Lin Chang; Esfandiar Maasoumi; Michael McAleer
  2. The effects of research grants on scientific productivity and utilisation By Debby Lanser; Ryanne van Dalen
  3. Up or out? How individual research grants affect academic careers in the Netherlands By Sander Gerritsen; Karen van der Wiel; Erik Plug (UVA)

  1. By: Chia-Lin Chang (National Chung Hsing University); Esfandiar Maasoumi (Emory University); Michael McAleer (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Complutense University of Madrid, Kyoto University)
    Abstract: The paper focuses on the robustness of rankings of academic journal quality and research impact in general, and in Economics, in particular, based on the widely-used Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science citations database (ISI). The paper analyses 299 leading international journals in Economics using quantifiable Research Assessment Measures (RAMs), and highlights the similarities and differences in various RAMs, which are based on alternative transformations of citations and influence. All existing RAMs to date have been static, so two new dynamic RAMs are developed to capture changes in impact factor over time and escalating journal self citations. Alternative RAMs may be calculated annually or updated daily to determine When, Where and How (frequently) published papers are cited (see Chang et al. (2011a, b, c)). The RAMs are grouped in four distinct classes that include impact factor, mean citations and non-citations, journal policy, number of high quality papers, and journal influence and article influence. These classes include the most widely used RAMs, namely the classic 2-year impact factor including journal self citations (2YIF), 2-year impact factor excluding journal self citations (2YIF*), 5-year impact factor including journal self citations (5YIF), Eigenfactor (or Journal Influence), Article Influence, h-index, and PI-BETA (Papers Ignored - By Even The Authors). As all existing RAMs to date have been static, two new dynamic RAMs are developed to capture changes in impact factor over time (5YD2 = 5YIF/2YIF) and Escalating Self Citations. We highlight robust rankings based on the harmonic mean of the ranks of RAMs across the 4 classes. It is shown that emphasizing the 2-year impact factor of a journal, which partly answers the question as to When published papers are cited, to the exclusion of other informative RAMs, which answer Where and How (frequently) published papers are cited, can lead to a distorted evaluation of journal quality, impact and influence relative to the harmonic mean of the ranks.
    Keywords: Research assessment measures, Impact factor, IFI, C3PO, PI-BETA, STAR, Eigenfactor, Article Influence, h-index, 5YD2, ESC, harmonic mean of the ranks, economics, journal rankings
    JEL: C18 C81 Y10
    Date: 2013–06–20
  2. By: Debby Lanser; Ryanne van Dalen
    Abstract: This CPB Discussion Paper investigates the effect of receiving a grant from the Dutch Technology Foundation STW on the research output of an individual researcher. <strong>We find no evidence that STW grant receipt increases research output for the general funding programme (OTP) whereas the results indicate an increase in the number of scientific publications for the thematic programmes.</strong> <strong>Read also: <a href="">CPB Discussion Paper 249</a></strong> STW funds application-oriented research by equally weighting academic quality and utilisation of submitted research proposals. Research output is therefore measured along these two criteria, that is, publications and citations for scientific productivity and publications with industry and patent applications for utilisation. STW roughly distinguishes two types of funding instruments, i.e. the Open Technology Programme (OTP) in which research proposals from different disciplines compete against each other and the thematic programmes on specific research themes with more prominent industrial involvement. We are able to identify causal effects of such a grant on research output by exploiting the discontinuity in the relationship between the priority scores assigned to each proposal and receiving an STW grant. We find no evidence that an STW grant has a positive effect on scientific productivity or utilisation for the OTP. However, we do find significantly positive effects of an STW grant on publication rates within the thematic programmes. Grant receipt in thematic programmes leads to six additional publications including one co-authored by industry professionals over the next four years. This academic discussion paper is an example of the CPB’s work on science policy. Another discussion paper is published simultaneously on the effects of individual research grants (NWO Vernieuwingsimpuls or IRI-grants) on academic careers (<a href="">CPB Discussion Paper 249</a>).
    JEL: I23 J24 O38
    Date: 2013–07
  3. By: Sander Gerritsen; Karen van der Wiel; Erik Plug (UVA)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of obtaining an individual research grant (Vernieuwingsimpuls or IRI -grant) on the careers of Dutch scientists. <strong>The main goal of this scheme of the Dutch Research Council is to provide relatively young, talented scientists with appealing career opportunities in academia. We find that the receipt of an IRI-grant enhances the probability of a successful career in science.</strong> <strong>Read also: <a href="">CPB Discussion Paper 248</a></strong> We evaluate the causal effect of an IRI-grant on labor-market outcomes by taking advantage of the discontinuity in the relationship between the priority scores given to each application and the actual receipt of a grant. Six years after application, grant recipients are more likely to stay in academia (six percentage points), more likely to be a full professor (seven percentage points) and more likely to receive future grants (five percentage points). However, grant receipt does not yield higher wages. Apparently IRI-grantees are purely rewarded for winning a grant in terms of the opportunity to do their self-selected research. It seems likely that this free research time is combined with a lower teaching load. In addition, we find that successful applicants are not rewarded in terms of their contract type either. Six years after application, the probability to work on a permanent contract is ten percentage points smaller for the successful applicants. This is not only driven by those applicants leaving academia for a sector in which permanent contracts are more customary. Also within the large group of applicants who stay in academia, those who win an IRI-grant are less likely to have obtained a permanent contract. <em>This academic discussion paper is an example of CPB’s research on science policy. Another discussion paper is published simultaneously on the effects of STW-grants on scientific productivity and utilization (<a href="">CPB Discussion Paper 248</a>).</em>
    JEL: H24 J24 J62 I23
    Date: 2013–07

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