nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2015‒05‒16
six papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Quality Weighted Citations Versus Total Citations in the Sciences and Social Sciences, with an Application to Finance and Accounting By Chia-Lin Chang; Michael McAleer
  2. Is Publication in the Hands of Outstanding Scientists? A Study on the Determinants of Editorial Boards Membership in Economics By Raffaele Miniaci; Michele Pezzoni
  3. A Note on Gender Differences in Recognition for Group Work By Heather Sarsons
  4. Above a Swamp: A Theory of High-Quality Scientific Production By Bralind Kiri; Nicola Lacetera; Lorenzo Zirulia
  5. The Career Effects of Scandal: Evidence from Scientific Retractions By Pierre Azoulay; Alessandro Bonatti; Joshua L. Krieger
  6. Modern and Post-Modern Teacher Education: Revealing Contrasts in Basic Educational Beliefs and Practice By R.D. Nordgren

  1. By: Chia-Lin Chang (Department of Applied Economics, Department of Finance, National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan); Michael McAleer (Econometric Institute, Erasmus School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Tinbergen Institute, The Netherlands, Department of Quantitative Economics, Complutense University of Madrid, and Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University.)
    Abstract: The premise underlying the use of citations data is that higher quality journals generally have a higher number of citations. The impact of citations can be distorted in a number of ways. Journals can, and do, inflate the number of citations through self citation practices, which may be coercive. Another method for distorting journal impact is through a set of journals agreeing to cite each other, that is, by exchanging citations. This may be less coercive than self citations, but is nonetheless unprofessional and distortionary. Both journal self citations and exchanged citations have the effect of increasing a journal’s impact factor, which may be deceptive. The paper analyses academic journal quality and research impact using quality weighted citations versus total citations, based on the widely-used Thomson Reuters ISI Web of Science citations database (ISI). A new Index of Citations Quality (ICQ) is presented, based on quality weighted citations. The new index is used to analyse the leading 500 journals in both the Sciences and Social Sciences, as well as 58 leading journals in Finance and Accounting, using quantifiable Research Assessment Measures (RAMs) that are based on alternative transformations of citations. It is shown that ICQ is a useful additional measure to 2YIF and other well known RAMs for the purpose of evaluating the impact and quality, as well as ranking, of journals as it contains information that has very low correlations with the information contained in the well known RAMs for both the Sciences and Social Sciences, as well as in Finance and Accounting.
    Keywords: Research assessment measures, Impact factors, Eigenfactor, Article Influence, Quality weighted citations, Total citations, Index of citations quality, Journal rankings, Self citations, Coercive citations, Exchanged citations.
    JEL: C18 C81 Y10
    Date: 2015–01
  2. By: Raffaele Miniaci (University of Brescia); Michele Pezzoni (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: This paper aims at casting light on editorial boards of leading journals in economics. This topic has been largely neglected by economists and sociologists of science, although the crucial role played by editors of prestigious journals in steering the discipline. We start our analysis by mapping the content specialization and the level of oligopoly of the contributing institutions within each journal. Then, we assess the impact of editorial boards’ interlocking and turnover on similarity between journals. In the second half of the paper we investigate the determinants of editorial board membership in leading economic journals during the decade from 1994 to 2004. We observe that the scientist’s past productivity is a strong predictor of membership. Nevertheless, other determinants are at play. Among others, we found a significant positive effect of scientist’s social connections with the members of the discipline who are entitled to decide for the appointment as editor.
    Keywords: Economic Journals, Journal interlocking and turnover, Social connection, Editor recruitment
    JEL: B21 B40 B53 C72 D01 D11 D50
    Date: 2015–05
  3. By: Heather Sarsons
    Abstract: Within academia, men are tenured at higher rates than women are in most quantitative fields, including economics. Researchers have attempted to identify the source of this disparity but find that nearly 30% of the gap remains unexplained even after controlling for family commitments and differences in productivity. Using data from academic economists' CVs, I test whether coauthored and solo-authored publications matter differently for tenure for men and women. While solo-authored papers send a clear signal about one's ability, coauthored papers are noisy in that they do not provide specific information about each contributor's skills. I find that men are tenured at roughly the same rate regardless of whether they coauthor or solo-author. Women, however, suffer a significant penalty when they coauthor. The results hold after controlling for the total number of papers published, quality of papers, field of study, tenure institution, tenure year, and the number of years it took an individual to go up for tenure. The result is most pronounced for women coauthoring with only men and is less pronounced the more women there are on a paper, suggesting that some gender bias is at play. 
    Date: 2015–05
  4. By: Bralind Kiri; Nicola Lacetera; Lorenzo Zirulia
    Abstract: Building on previous research to reinforce findings or point out limitations is essential for a healthy working of the scientific community because it allows science to self-correct and evolve, thus providing a more solid knowledge base to individuals, firms and societies. In this paper we propose a model to investigate the incentives of scientists to perform these activities of control and criticism when these activities, just like the production of high-quality research in the first place, are costly, and we study the strategic interaction among these incentives. We show that a certain fraction of low-quality scientific knowledge characterizes all the equilibria in the basic version of model. In fact, the absence of (detected) low-quality research in a field can be interpreted as the lack of verification activities and thus as a potential limitation to the reliability of that field. We also derive that facilitating incremental research and verification activities improves the expected quality of newly produced knowledge; this effect, however, is contrasted by the incentives to free ride on performing verification if many scientists are involved in it, and also might discourage scientists to undertake new research in the first place. Finally, the findings imply that softening overall incentives to publish does not enhance research quality, although it increases the fraction of low-quality papers that are identified. We also elaborate empirical predictions from the model and strategies to test them, and discuss the implications for firms and investors as they "scout" the scientific landscape.
    JEL: L31 O31
    Date: 2015–05
  5. By: Pierre Azoulay; Alessandro Bonatti; Joshua L. Krieger
    Abstract: Scandals permeate social and economic life, but their consequences have received scant attention in the economics literature. To shed empirical light on this phenomenon, we investigate how the scientific community's perception of a scientist's prior work changes when one of his articles is retracted. Relative to non-retracted control authors, faculty members who experience a retraction see the citation rate to their articles drop by 10% on average, consistent with the Bayesian intuition that the market inferred their work was mediocre all along. We then investigate whether the eminence of the retracted author, and the publicity surrounding the retraction, shape the magnitude of the penalty. We find that eminent scientists are more harshly penalized than their less-distinguished peers in the wake of a retraction, but only in cases involving fraud or misconduct. When the retraction event had it source in "honest mistakes," we find no evidence of differential stigma between high- and low-status faculty members.
    JEL: O31 O33
    Date: 2015–05
  6. By: R.D. Nordgren (National University)
    Abstract: The researchers examine the beliefs of faculty members regarding education policy, teaching and learning, and curricula through the constructs of postmodern and modern ideologies. A 26-items survey based on a theoretical framework using Sahlberg’s “Finnish Way” was administered at two colleges of education; findings provided insights into these faculty members’ stances toward P–12 schooling as well as preparing teachers. The institutions were selected, in part, for their contrasting models. One is a private, non-profit university located on the west coast of the United States; the other is public, state-supported university in the Midwest. Both have a mission to meet the needs of underserved populations of college students, especially first-generation college attendees; however, over 60% of the private university’s coursework is taken online versus less than 10% at the public institution. Ninety faculty members from the public institution were surveyed, all of whom were full-time tenured or tenure-track, whereas nearly 700 faculty were surveyed at the private university, and all but 85 were adjunct faculty (70% of all classes at the private college of education are taught by adjunct faculty while less than 10% of classes at the public college are taught by part-time adjunct faculty.) Findings indicated a general agreement within all five item categories: Standards/Standardization, Curriculum, Student Assessment, Management, and Resources. However, decided differences were found in faculty members’ responses to individual items such as merit pay and collective bargaining’s “grip” on teacher contracts. In this instance, the private institution held to a neoliberal approach whereas in most other cases these faculty members embraced more constructivist/progressive practices and beliefs. One of the conclusions made by the researchers is that those holding neoliberal philosophies may be attracted to the private institution’s “business-like” operation model (although they do not seem to constitute the majority), while a more progressive faculty member is attracted to the state institution with a traditional tenure system and mode of instructional delivery.
    Keywords: Post-modernism, ideology, progressivism, neoliberalism, political beliefs
    JEL: I29 I21 I24

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