nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2018‒01‒15
two papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Publishing while Female. Are women held to higher standards? Evidence from peer review. By Hengel, E.; ; ;
  2. Governance, Brain Drain, and Brain Gain in Elite Academic Institutions in Economics : the Case of Spain By Ruiz-Castillo Ucelay, Javier; Carrasco Perea, Raquel

  1. By: Hengel, E.; ; ;
    Abstract: I use readability scores to test if referees and/or editors apply higher standards to women's writing in academic peer review. I find: (i) female-authored papers are 1-6 percent better written than equivalent papers by men; (ii) the gap is two times higher in published articles than in earlier, draft versions of the same papers; (iii) women's writing gradually improves but men's does not-meaning the readability gap grows over authors' careers. In a dynamic model of an author's decision-making process, I show that tougher editorial standards and/or biased referee assignment are uniquely consistent with this pattern of choices. A conservative causal estimate derived from the model suggests senior female economists write at least 9 percent more clearly than they otherwise would. These findings indicate that higher standards burden women with an added time tax and probably contribute to academia's "Publishing Paradox" Consistent with this hypothesis, I find female-authored papers spend six months longer in peer review. More generally, tougher standards impose a quantity/quality tradeoff that characterises many instances of female output. They could resolve persistently lower-otherwise unexplained-female productivity in many high-skill occupations.
    Date: 2017–12–04
  2. By: Ruiz-Castillo Ucelay, Javier; Carrasco Perea, Raquel
    Abstract: Since the late 1970s and, above all, since 1990, a sizable contingent of Spanish economists coming back home after attending graduate school abroad, mostly in the U.S. and the UK, managed to introduce drastic changes in governance in a number of economics departments and research centers, including meritocratic hiring and promotion practices. These initiatives were also favored by the availability of resources to finance certain research needs, including the organization of international Ph.D. programs. Using a dataset of 3,540 economists working in 2007 in 125 academic centers in 22 countries, this paper presents some evidence on the role of this institutional revolution on the patterns of brain gain, brain drain, and net gain in Spain and other countries. Conditional on some personal, department, and country characteristics, the net marginal effect of a given country is defined as the difference between the marginal effect of working in 2007 in that country on the probability of brain gain and the marginal effect of being born in that country on the probability of brain drain. The main result is that the net marginal effect of Spain is greater than the net marginal effect of comparable large, continental European countries, i.e. Germany, France, and Italy, where economists have similar opportunities of publishing their research in English, the lingua franca of science, or in their own languages. On the other hand, the average estimated probability of net gain in Spain is only below that of the U.S., but it is greater than the average probability of net gain in Germany, France or Italy.
    Keywords: brain gain; brain circulation; brain drain; economics institutions; governance
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2017–12–01

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