nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2015‒09‒26
five papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Neophilia Ranking of Scientific Journals By Mikko Packalen; Jay Bhattacharya
  2. What Policies Increase Prosocial Behavior? An Experiment with Referees at the Journal of Public Economics By Chetty, Raj; Saez, Emmanuel; Sándor, László
  3. Trends in economics publications represented by JEL categories between 2007 and 2013 By Wohlrabe, Klaus; Rath, Katharina
  4. A Few Goodmen: Surname-Sharing Co-Authors in Economics By Goodman, Joshua Samuel; Goodman, Lucas; Goodman, Sarena; Goodman, Allen C.
  5. Geography, Ties, and Knowledge Flows: Evidence from Citations in Mathematics By Yao Amber Li; Keith Head; Asier Minondo

  1. By: Mikko Packalen; Jay Bhattacharya
    Abstract: The ranking of scientific journals is important because of the signal it sends to scientists about what is considered most vital for scientific progress. Existing ranking systems focus on measuring the influence of a scientific paper (citations)—these rankings do not reward journals for publishing innovative work that builds on new ideas. We propose an alternative ranking based on the proclivity of journals to publish papers that build on new ideas, and we implement this ranking via a text-based analysis of all published biomedical papers dating back to 1946. Our results show that our neophilia ranking is distinct from citation-based rankings. Prior theoretical work suggests an active role for our neophilia index in science policy. Absent an explicit incentive to pursue novel science, scientists under-invest in innovative work because of a coordination problem: for work on a new idea to flourish, many scientists must decide to adopt it in their work. Rankings that are based purely on influence thus do not provide sufficient incentives for publishing innovative work. By contrast, adoption of the neophilia index as part of journal-ranking procedures by funding agencies and university administrators would provide an explicit incentive for journals to publish innovative work and thus help solve the coordination problem by increasing scientists’ incentives to pursue innovative work.
    JEL: I1 O3 O31
    Date: 2015–09
  2. By: Chetty, Raj; Saez, Emmanuel; Sándor, László
    Abstract: We evaluate policies to increase prosocial behavior using a field experiment with 1,500 referees at the Journal of Public Economics. We randomly assign referees to four groups: a control group with a six week deadline to submit a referee report, a group with a four week deadline, a cash incentive group rewarded with $100 for meeting the four week deadline, and a social incentive group in which referees were told that their turnaround times would be publicly posted. We obtain four sets of results. First, shorter deadlines reduce the time referees take to submit reports substantially. Second, cash incentives significantly improve speed, especially in the week before the deadline. Cash payments do not crowd out intrinsic motivation: after the cash treatment ends, referees who received cash incentives are no slower than those in the 4 week deadline group. Third, social incentives have smaller but significant effects on review times and are especially effective among tenured professors, who are less sensitive to deadlines and cash incentives. Fourth, all the treatments have little or no effect on agreement rates, quality of reports, or review times at other journals. We conclude that small changes in journals’ policies could substantially expedite peer review at little cost. More generally, price incentives, nudges, and social pressure are effective and complementary methods of increasing prosocial behavior.
    Date: 2014
  3. By: Wohlrabe, Klaus; Rath, Katharina
    Abstract: This article updates Kelly and Bruestle (2011) by illustrating how publication trends in different subject categories in economics evolved from 2007 to 2013. Using data from RePEc we show that the largest increase in the relative share was for articles published in JEL category Q (“Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics”) over this period. Furthermore, we provide evidence that the number of JEL categories per article increased over the last 25 years.
    Keywords: JEL classification, economics, research fields, RePEc
    JEL: A12 A14
    Date: 2015–09–17
  4. By: Goodman, Joshua Samuel; Goodman, Lucas; Goodman, Sarena; Goodman, Allen C.
    Abstract: We explore the phenomenon of co-authorship by economists who share a surname. Prior research has included at most two economist co-authors who share a surname. Ours is the first paper to have three economist co-authors who share a surname, as well as the first where such co-authors are unrelated by marriage or blood.
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Yao Amber Li (Department of Economics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology); Keith Head (Sander School of Business, University of British Columbia); Asier Minondo
    Abstract: Using data on academic citations, career and educational histories of mathematicians, and disaggregated distance data for the world's top 1000 math departments, we study how geography and ties affect knowledge flows among scholars. The ties we consider are coauthorship, past colocation, advisor-mediated relationships, and alma mater relationships (holding a Ph.D. from the institution where another scholar is affiliated). Logit regressions using fixed effects that control for subject similarity, article quality, and temporal lags, show linkages are strongly associated with citation. Controlling for ties generally halves the negative impact of geographic barriers on citations; the distance effect became insignificant after 2004.
    Keywords: network, distance, border, geography, knowledge flows, academic citations, genealogy, matching
    JEL: O3 F1 R1
    Date: 2015–09

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