nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2016‒02‒17
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Citations in Economics: Measurement, Uses and Impacts By Hamermesh, Daniel S.
  3. Connections in Scientific Committees and Applicants' Self-Selection: Evidence from a Natural Randomized Experiment By Bagues, Manuel F.; Sylos-Labini, Mauro; Zinovyeva, Natalia

  1. By: Hamermesh, Daniel S. (Royal Holloway; University of Texas at Austin)
    Abstract: I describe and compare sources of data on citations in economics and the statistics that can be constructed from them. Constructing data sets of the post-publication citation histories of articles published in the "Top 5" journals in the 1970s and the 2000s, I examine distributions and life cycles of citations, compare citation histories of articles in different sub-specialties in economics and present evidence on the history and heterogeneity of those journals' impacts and the marginal citation productivity of additional coauthors. I use a new data set of the lifetime citation histories of over 1000 economists from 30 universities to rank economics departments by various measures and to demonstrate the importance of intra- and interdepartmental heterogeneity in productivity. Throughout, the discussion summarizes earlier work. I survey research on the impacts of citations on salaries and non-monetary rewards and discuss how citations reflect judgments about research quality in economics.
    Keywords: academic productivity, tournaments, publication, rankings
    JEL: A11 J01 B31
    Date: 2015–12
  2. By: Steinmayr, Andreas; Fricke, Hans; Grogger, Jeff
    Abstract: This study investigates how exposure to an academic field influences students major choices. In particular, we analyze whether students who are inclined to study business change their intentions after being exposed to economics or law. We exploit a natural experiment at a Swiss university. All first year students face the same curriculum before they chose a major. An important part of the curriculum is a first year paper in business, economics, or law. Due to oversubscription of business, the university assigns the field of the paper in a standardized way unrelated to student characteristics. We find that assignment to economics raises the probability of majoring in economics by 2.7 percentage points, which amounts to 18 percent of the share of students who major in economics. The effect is entirely driven by male students.
    JEL: I20 I23 A22
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Bagues, Manuel F. (Aalto University); Sylos-Labini, Mauro (University of Pisa); Zinovyeva, Natalia (Aalto University)
    Abstract: We examine how the presence of connections in scientific committees affects researchers' decision to apply and their chances of success. We exploit evidence from Italian academia, where in order to be promoted to an associate or full professorship, researchers are firstly required to qualify in a national evaluation process. Prospective candidates are significantly less likely to apply when the committee includes, through luck of the draw, a colleague or a co-author. This pattern is driven mainly by researchers with a weak research profile. At the same time, information from 300,000 individual evaluation reports shows that applicants tend to receive more favorable evaluations from connected evaluators. Overall, this evidence is consistent with both the existence of a bias in favor of connected candidates and with academic connections reducing information asymmetries. Our study shows that connections are an important determinant of application decisions in academia and, more generally, it highlights the relevance of self-selection for empirical studies on discrimination.
    Keywords: scientific evaluations, connections, self-selection
    JEL: I23 M51 J45
    Date: 2015–12

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