nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2019‒01‒07
two papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Are Professors Worth It? The Value-Added and Costs of Tutorial Instructors By Jan Feld; Nicolás Salamanca; Ulf Zölitz
  2. Beyond the IRB: Towards a typology of research ethics in applied economics By Michler, Jeffrey D.; Masters, William A.; Josephson, Anna

  1. By: Jan Feld; Nicolás Salamanca; Ulf Zölitz
    Abstract: A substantial share of university instruction happens in tutorial sessions—small group instruction given parallel to lectures. In this paper, we study whether instructors with a higher academic rank teach tutorials more effectively in a setting where students are randomly assigned to tutorial groups. We find this to be largely not the case. Academic rank is unrelated to students’ current and future performance and only weakly positively related to students’ course evaluations. Building on these results, we discuss different staffing scenarios that show that universities can substantially reduce costs by increasingly relying on lower-ranked instructors for tutorial teaching.
    Keywords: student instructors, university, teacher value-added
    JEL: I21 I24 J24
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Michler, Jeffrey D.; Masters, William A.; Josephson, Anna
    Abstract: Conversations about ethics often appeal to those responsible for the ethical behavior, encouraging adoption of “better,” more ethical conduct. In this paper, we consider an alternative frame: a typology of ethical misconduct, focusing on who are the victims of various types of unethical behavior. The typology is constructed around 1) who may be harmed and 2) by what mechanism an individual or party is harmed. Building a typology helps to identify times in the life cycle of a research idea where differences exist between who is potentially harmed and who the existing ethical norms protect. We discuss ethical practices including IRB approvals, which focuses almost entirely on risks to subjects; pre-analysis plans and conflict of interest disclosures, which encourage transparency so as to not mislead editors, reviewers, and readers; and self-plagiarism, which has become increasing common as authors slice their research ever more thinly, causing congestion in journals at the expense of others.
    Keywords: Institutional and Behavioral Economics, Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession
    Date: 2018–12–20

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