nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2015‒12‒08
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Citations or Journal Quality: Which is Rewarded More in the Academic Labor Market? By John Gibson; David L. Anderson; John Tressler
  2. Do large departments make academics more productive? Sorting and agglomeration economies in research By Clément Bosquet; Pierre-Philippe Combes
  3. How To Count Citations If You Must By Perry, Motty; Reny, Philip J.

  1. By: John Gibson (University of Waikato); David L. Anderson (Queen's University); John Tressler (University of Waikato)
    Abstract: Research quality can be evaluated using citations or from the prestige of the journal that publishes the research. Recent studies advocate for more weight on citations, which measure actual impact, while the journal where an article publishes is merely a predictor of whether it was thought likely to have an impact. Yet there is little comprehensive evidence on the role of citations versus journal quality in evaluating research. In this paper we use data on tenured economists in the University of California system to relate their salary to their lifetime publications of 5500 articles in almost 700 different academic journals and to the 140,000 citations to these articles. The results show little role for citations in affecting faculty salary, with an impact only one-seventh that of a measure of journal publications. The distribution of citations, whether using an h-index or the generalized h-index proposed by Ellison (2013), is also not a significant predictor of salary.
    Keywords: academic salary; citations; h-index; journal rankings; research evaluation
    JEL: A14 J44
    Date: 2015–11–30
  2. By: Clément Bosquet; Pierre-Philippe Combes (Université de Cergy-Pontoise, THEMA)
    Abstract: We study how departments' characteristics impact academics' quantity and quality of publications in economics. Individual time-varying characteristics and individual fixed-effects are controlled for. Departments' characteristics have an explanatory power at least equal to a fourth of that of individual characteristics and possibly as high as theirs. An academic's quantity and quality of publications in a field increase with the presence of other academics specialised in that field and with the share of the field's output in the department. By contrast, department's size, proximity to other large departments, homogeneity in terms of publication performance, presence of colleagues with connections abroad, and composition in terms of positions and age matter at least for some publication measures but only when individual fixed effects are not controlled for. This suggests a role for individual positive sorting where these characteristics only attract more able academics. A residual negative sorting between individuals' and departments' unobserved characteristics is simultaneously exhibited.
    Keywords: Research productivity, Local externalities, Skills sorting, Peer effects, Co-author networks, Economics of science.
    JEL: R23 J24 I23
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Perry, Motty (Department of Economics, University of Warwick); Reny, Philip J. (Department of Economics, University of Chicago)
    Abstract: Citation indices are regularly used to inform critical decisions about promotion, tenure, and the allocation of billions of research dollars. Nevertheless, most indices (e.g., the h-index) are motivated by intuition and rules of thumb, resulting in undesirable conclusions. In contrast, five natural properties lead us to a unique new index, the Euclidean index, that avoids several shortcomings of the h-index and its successors.The Euclidean index is simply the Euclidean length of an individual’s citation list. Two empirical tests suggest that the Euclidean index outperforms the h-index in practice.
    Date: 2015

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