nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2015‒05‒22
two papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. It's Good to be First: Order Bias in Reading and Citing NBER Working Papers By Daniel R. Feenberg; Ina Ganguli; Patrick Gaule; Jonathan Gruber
  2. Model of Integrated Academic Performance and Accountability System for HEI By Shawyun Teay

  1. By: Daniel R. Feenberg; Ina Ganguli; Patrick Gaule; Jonathan Gruber
    Abstract: Choices are frequently made from lists where there is by necessity some ordering of options. In such situations individuals can exhibit both primacy bias towards the first option and recency bias towards the last option. We examine this phenomenon in a particularly interesting context: consumer response to the ordering of economics papers in an email announcement issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Each Monday morning Eastern Standard Time (EST) the NBER issues a “New This Week” (NTW) email that lists all of the working papers that have been issued in the past week. This email goes to more than 23,000 subscribers, both inside and outside academia, and the placement order is based on random factors. We show that despite the randomized list placement, papers that are listed first each week are about 30% more likely to be viewed, downloaded, and cited over the next two years. Lower ranking on the list leads to fewer views and downloads, but not cites; however, there is also some recency bias, with the last paper listed receiving more views, downloads and cites. The results are robust to a wide variety of specification checks and are present for both all viewers/downloaders, and for academic institutions in particular. These results suggest that even among expert searchers, list-based searches can be manipulated by list placement.
    JEL: A2 D03 D83
    Date: 2015–05
  2. By: Shawyun Teay (King Saud University)
    Abstract: While accountability has been discussed and designed for implementation for schools systems in the West, what would responsibility and accountability mean for a Higher Education Institute (HEI) has been elusive. Basically, key literature in accountability connects assessment, teaching and learning, student and teacher systems, testing systems leading to improvements, innovations and renewals in the whole organizational capacity and capabilities system. These basically are the 4 sanctified mission tenets of any HEI of teaching, learning, research and societal responsibility. A key question facing most HEI would be the fundamental principles and mechanics in developing, ensuring and measuring these accountabilities that affects the students and society. The immediacy is the internal policies, processes, pragmatics and practices of the creation and delivery of “education value” that is the faculty and staff using the educational processes responsibly and accountably way towards the students’ accomplishment and achievements and societal development. Instead of focusing on the outcome of the accountability from external measures, this paper will focus on the internal practices and mechanisms that need to be established to ensure and support to internal responsibility and accountability of the HEI and its academic personnel. This paper aims at proposing a working model for this internal integrated Academic Performance and Accountability System (APAS) for a HEI. Six key internal indices are established in the key areas to course evaluations index, teaching and learning assessment learning outcome index of student, quality contributions index, research index, administrative work index, societal responsibility index. All these culminate in the Academic Performance and Accountability Index (APAI) of a scorecard of the faculty performance and accountability from the inherent internal processes that affect the final student external outcome performance.
    Keywords: Academic accountability, higher education, balanced scorecard approach, academic performance and evaluation
    JEL: I21

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