nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2017‒05‒07
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. An Economic Approach to Alleviate the Crises of Confidence in Science: With an Application to the Public Goods Game By Luigi Butera; John A. List
  2. Citation Patterns in Economics and Beyond: Assessing the Peculiarities of Economics from Two Scientometric Perspectives By Jakob Kapeller; Matthias Aistleitner; Stefan Steinberger
  3. Glass Ceiling in Research: Evidence from a National Program in Uruguay By Daniel Bukstein; Néstor Gandelman

  1. By: Luigi Butera; John A. List
    Abstract: Novel empirical insights by their very nature tend to be unanticipated, and in some cases at odds with the current state of knowledge on the topic. The mechanics of statistical inference suggest that such initial findings, even when robust and statistically significant within the study, should not appreciably move priors about the phenomenon under investigation. Yet, a few well-conceived independent replications dramatically improve the reliability of novel findings. Nevertheless, the incentives to replicate are seldom in place in the sciences, especially within the social sciences. We propose a simple incentive-compatible mechanism to promote replications, and use experimental economics to highlight our approach. We begin by reporting results from an experiment in which we investigate how cooperation in allocation games is affected by the presence of Knightian uncertainty, a pervasive and yet unexplored characteristic of most public goods. Unexpectedly, we find that adding uncertainty enhances cooperation. This surprising result serves as a test case for our mechanism: instead of sending this paper to a peer-reviewed journal, we make it available online as a working paper, but we commit never to submit it to a journal for publication. We instead offered co-authorship for a second, yet to be written, paper to other scholars willing to replicate our study. That second paper will reference this working paper, will include all replications, and will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication. Our mechanism allows mutually-beneficial gains from trade between the original investigators and other scholars, alleviates the publication bias problem that often surrounds novel experimental results, and accelerates the advancement of economic science by leveraging the mechanics of statistical inference.
    JEL: A11 C92 H4 D64
    Date: 2017–04
  2. By: Jakob Kapeller (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria); Matthias Aistleitner (Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria); Stefan Steinberger (Department of Mathematics, Yale University, US)
    Abstract: In this paper we explore three claims concerning the disciplinary character of economics by means of citation analysis. The three claims under study are: (1) economics exhibits strong forms of intellectual stratification and, as a byproduct, a rather pronounced internal hierarchy, (2) economists strongly conform to institutional incentives and (3) modern mainstream economics is a highly self-referential intellectual project mostly inaccessible to disciplinary or paradigmatic outsiders. The validity of these claims is assessed by means of an interdisciplinary comparison of citation patterns aiming to identify the peculiar characteristics of economic discourse. In exposing and discussing these peculiarities of economics, we emphasize the availability of two competing scientometric perspectives for assessing and interpreting our findings.
    Keywords: citation patterns, economics, interdisciplinary, scientometrics, sociology of economics
    JEL: A10 A12 A14
    Date: 2017–04
  3. By: Daniel Bukstein; Néstor Gandelman
    Abstract: This paper presents evidence that female researchers have 7.1 percentage points lower probability of being accepted into the largest national research support program in Uruguay than male researchers. They also have lower research productivity than their male counterparts. Differences in observable characteristics explain 4.9 of the 7.1 percentage point gap. The gender gap is wider at the higher ranks of the program consistent with the existence of a glass ceiling. The results are robust to issues of bidirectionality (impact of research productivity on the probability of accessing the program and impact of the program on research productivity), joint determination and correlation of variables (e.g. having a Ph.D., publishing, and tutoring), and initial productivity effects (positive results at early stages may have long-term effects on career development). The paper presents three hypotheses for the gender gap (an original sin in the organization of the system, biases in the composition of evaluation committees, and differences in field of concentration) and finds some evidence for each. Glass ceilings are stronger in the fields where women are overrepresented among the applicants to the system: medical sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. Finally, it presents a counterfactual distribution of the program in the absence of discriminatory treatment of women and discusses the economic costs of the gender gap.
    Keywords: Female Researchers, gender discrimination, gender gap, Science and Technology Policy, Human Capital, Wage Gap, Wage Distribution, gender gap, female researchers, research
    JEL: J71 J4 J16
    Date: 2017–04

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