nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2013‒12‒29
seven papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Journal Impact Factor, Eigenfactor, Journal Influence and Article Influence By Chang, C.L.; McAleer, M.J.; Oxley, L.
  2. Fishing for complementarities: Competitive research funding and research productivity. By Hottenrott, Hanna; Lawson, Cornelia
  3. Are there Scale Economies in Scientific Production? On the Topic of Locally Increasing Returns to Scale By Schubert , Torben
  4. Scholarly Influence By Miller, Alan D.; Chambers, Christopher P.
  5. Review of Diffusion Research By Sriwannawit , Pranpreya; Sandström, Ulf
  6. Steuerung statt Legitimierung? Über die Funktion(en) von Evaluationen staatlicher Forschungseinrichtungen für deren Zuwendungsgeber By Roßmann, Simon
  7. "Success in Economics Major: Is it Path Dependent?" By CARLOS J. ASARTA; ROGER B. BUTTERS; ANDREW PERUMAL

  1. By: Chang, C.L.; McAleer, M.J.; Oxley, L.
    Abstract: This paper examines the practical usefulness of two new journal performance metrics, namely the Eigenfactor score, which may be interpreted as measuring “Journal Influenceâ€, and the Article Influence score, using the Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science (hereafter ISI) data for 2009 for the 200 most highly cited journals in each of the Sciences and Social Sciences, and compares them with two existing ISI metrics, namely Total Citations and the 5-year Impact Factor (5YIF) of a journal (including journal self citations). It is shown that the Sciences and Social Sciences are different in terms of the strength of the relationship of journal performance metrics, although the actual relationships are very similar. Moreover, the journal influence and article influence journal performance metrics are shown to be closely related empirically to the two existing ISI metrics, and hence add little in practical usefulness to what is already known. These empirical results are compared with existing results in the literature.
    Keywords: journal performance metrics;total citations;research assessment measures;journal and article influence
  2. By: Hottenrott, Hanna; Lawson, Cornelia
    Abstract: This paper empirically investigates complementarities between different sources of research funding with regard to academic publishing. We find for a sample of UK engineering academics that competitive funding is associated with an increase in ex-post publications but that industry funding decreases the marginal utility of public funding by lowering the publication and citation rate increases associated with public grants. However, when holding all other explanatory variables at their mean, the negative effect of the interaction does not translate into an effective decrease in publication and citation numbers. The paper also shows that the positive effect of public funding is driven by UK research council and charity grants and that EU funding has no significant effect on publication outcomes.
    Keywords: research funding; university-industry collaboration; scientific productivity;
    Date: 2013–12
  3. By: Schubert , Torben (CIRCLE, Lund University)
    Abstract: In this paper the question of returns to scale in scientific production is analyzed using nonparametric techniques for multidimensional efficiency measurement. Based on survey data for German research groups from three scientific fields it is shown that the multidimensional production possibility sets are weakly non-convex and locally strictly non-convex. This implies that the production functions for the groups in the sample are characterised by increasing returns in some regions and at least constant returns to scale otherwise. This has two implications for organization of scientific research: first, at least some groups in our sample have suboptimal size and could benefit from growing. Second, specialisation on certain tasks in science (e.g. transfer-oriented groups vs. research-oriented groups) would increase output of the overall system.
    Keywords: Research Units; Specialisation; Production; Efficiency; Returns to scale; DEA
    JEL: C14 O30
    Date: 2013–12–20
  4. By: Miller, Alan D. (Faculty of Law and Department of Economics, University of Haifa); Chambers, Christopher P. (Department of Economics, University of California, San Diego)
    Abstract: We introduce a new class of measures of scholarly influence, which we term step-based indices. This class includes the prominent h-index, the publication count, and the i10-index. We show that the class of step-based indices is characterized by three axioms, consistency with worse scientists, consistency with better scientists, and full range. We also introduce a new index, the junior/senior-index, which combines the best features of the h-index with those of the i10-index.
    Date: 2013–06–24
  5. By: Sriwannawit , Pranpreya (Department of Industrial Economics and Management, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm); Sandström, Ulf (Department of Industrial Economics and Management, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm)
    Abstract: Despite the fact that diffusion research has existed for more than one century, there is no quantitative review study that covers this subject in a broad and general context. This article reviews diffusion research by providing an extensive bibliometric and clustering analysis. We identify research trails and explain the characteristics of diffusion research using new methods. We contribute a methodology for the use of advanced mapping and clustering techniques in order to describe the research areas. This method produces a fairly good overview of diffusion research and can be applied to any knowledge field to replace or complement the traditional literature review.
    Keywords: adoption; bibliometric; cluster; labeling; publication analysis; quantitative; research front; technology transfer
    JEL: O30 O33
    Date: 2013–12–13
  6. By: Roßmann, Simon
    Abstract: Während in letzter Zeit unter dem Schlagwort Evaluitis seitens der Wissenschaft vor allem die negativen Effekte von Evaluationen auf den Wissenschaftsbetrieb im Zentrum eines öffentlichen Diskurses standen, blieb die Frage nach dem spezifischen (Mehr-)Wert solcher Verfahren für die staatlichen Zuwendungsgeber weitge-hend unterbelichtet. Dabei stellt sich insbesondere die Frage, ob die zeitlich und finanziell aufwendigen Verfahren für wissenschaftspolitische Steuerungs- und Koordinationsprozesse tatsächlich eine Unterstützung sind, oder ob sie lediglich eine symbolische Legitimationsfunktion haben. Das hier vorliegende Papier versucht diese Frage zu beantworten, indem es Ergebnisse einer kürzlich abgeschlossenen Studie über den Umgang staatlicher Zuwendungsgeber mit den Evaluationen der von ihnen alimentierten Einrichtungen präsentiert. Dazu wurden auf Bundesebene neben den betroffenen Einrichtungen insbesondere Verantwortliche in Ressorts befragt, die sich in unterschiedlichen institutionellen Förderlinien (Ressortforschung, Leibnizinstitute, Helmholtzzentren) mit Evaluationen ihrer Einrichtungen auseinandersetzen mussten. Als Ergebnis geht es den Ministerien zu großen Teilen nicht nur um die Legitimierung der eingesetzten Fördermittel, sondern vor allem um die Überprüfung und Weiterentwicklung der institutionellen Binnenstruktur der Forschungsorganisationen. Dabei erscheint die angestrebte Verbesserung der wissenschaftlichen Leistungsfähigkeit der Einrichtungen - abhängig von den gegebenen Handlungsspielräumen der jeweiligen Förderbeziehung - oft nur Mittel zum Zweck zu sein, welcher sich als Realisierung der (politischen) Eigeninteressen des Ressorts mit Hilfe der Einrichtung darstellt. -- The academic discussion about massive public evaluations of state funded research organizations has empha-sized a negative impact on the quantity and quality of research. But apart from serving as a legitimation of public funding, little is known about the added value of these evaluations from a state point of view. This paper explores how ministries cope with the evaluations of their research organizations and the results. The find-ings are based on case studies including different kinds of funding relationships between German federal ministries and non university research organizations. Though the results differ slightly depending on the kind of funding relationship, the evaluations generally produced clear statements on scientific quality - an assessment that is beyond the ministries' expertise. In addition to the (non-)legitimation of further state funding, the evaluation provided the ministries with an opportunity to combine suggested organizational change with the im-plementation of their own political objectives.
    Date: 2013
  7. By: CARLOS J. ASARTA (Department of Economics,University of Delaware); ROGER B. BUTTERS (Department of Economics,University of Nebraska); ANDREW PERUMAL (Department of Economics,University of Massachusetts)
    Abstract: The economics profession has consistently demonstrated an interest in increasing the number of students exposed to economics, providing students with a quality education and identifying the key determinants of student success in the economics curriculum. Several strategies have been recommended and include implementing an applied approach rather than a theoretical approach (Okoye, 2011), exposing students to economics as early as possible in their undergraduate careers (Fournier and Sass, 2000), assigning popular professors to principles courses (Becker, 1997; Margo and Siegfried, 1996), modifying the curriculum to make economics more accessible to a broader range of students (Bartlett, 1995) or presenting material in a way that is relevant and interesting to students (Siegfried and Raymond, 1984).
    Keywords: Economics Major, Undergraduate, Education, Assessment
    JEL: A10 A22 I21
    Date: 2013

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