nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2019‒04‒22
six papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Do download reports reliably measure journal usage? Trusting the fox to count your Hens? By Wood-Doughty, Alex; Bergstrom, Ted; Steigerwald, Douglas
  2. Title length By Yann Bramoullé; Lorenzo Ductor
  3. Journal ranking should depend on the level of aggregation By L\'aszl\'o Csat\'o
  4. Eine Netzwerkanalyse von Ökonomen und Wissenschaftlern anderer Disziplinen auf Basis eines Surveys unter Abgeordneten und Ministerialbeamten By Wolfgang Schwarzbauer; Tobias Thomas; Gert G. Wagner
  5. A Performance Analysis of Some New Meta-Analysis Estimators Designed to Correct Publication Bias By Sanghyun Hong; W. Robert Reed
  6. REFORMING DOCTORAL EDUCATION: There is a Better Way By Spronken-Smith, Rachel

  1. By: Wood-Doughty, Alex; Bergstrom, Ted; Steigerwald, Douglas
    Abstract: Download rates of academic journals have joined citation rates as commonly used measures of research influence. But in what ways and to what extent do the two measures differ? This paper examines six years of download data for more than five thousand journals subscribed to by the University of California system. While down- load rates of journals are highly correlated with citation rates, the average ratio of downloads to citations varies substantially among academic disciplines. We find that, typically, the ratio of a journal’s downloads to citations depends positively on its im- pact factor. Surprisingly, we find that, controlling for citation rates, number of articles, academic discipline and year of download, there remains a “publisher effect,†with some publishers recording significantly more downloads than would be predicted from char- acteristics of their journals. Download statistics are recorded and supplied to libraries by journal publishers, often subject to confidentiality clauses. If libraries use download statistics to evaluate journals, they may want to account for publisher bias in these statistics.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, journal downloads, citations, impact factor, academic journals
    Date: 2017–11–26
  2. By: Yann Bramoullé (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Lorenzo Ductor (Middlesex University [London])
    Abstract: We document strong and robust negative correlations between the length of the title of an economics article and different measures of scientific quality. Analyzing all articles published between 1970 and 2011 and referenced in EconLit, we find that articles with shorter titles tend to be published in better journals, to be more cited and to be more innovative. These correlations hold controlling for unobserved time-invariant and observed time varying characteristics of teams of authors. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Keywords: Title length,Journal quality,Citations,Novelty
    Date: 2018–06
  3. By: L\'aszl\'o Csat\'o
    Abstract: Journal ranking, that is, placing journals within their respective fields, is an important research evaluation tool. Several indices have been suggested for this purpose, typically on the basis of citation graph. We follow an axiomatic approach and find an impossibility theorem: any self-consistent ranking method, which satisfies a natural monotonicity property, should depend on the level of aggregation. Our result presents a trade-off between two axiomatic properties and reveals a dilemma of aggregation.
    Date: 2019–04
  4. By: Wolfgang Schwarzbauer; Tobias Thomas; Gert G. Wagner
    Abstract: In Germany, public debates between economists are rather rare. However, in media cover-age on economists there is an implicit assignment to ideological camps, such as employer/employee-friendly or left/market liberal. Since for most of the economists this assignment is rarely explicitly pronounced, an empirical investigation based on the media coverage is difficult. Our contribution examines the assigned orientation of economists by proximity in networks of peers and scientists from other disciplines. For this purpose, we use data collected in a survey among ministry officials and parliamentarians about policy-advising scientists in the years 2014 to 2018. The respondents could name up to five economists and five scientists from other disciplines. It is assumed that respondents are more likely to name those together where they see a certain proximity to each other, and probably to them-selves as well. Over the years, the network analysis of the survey data shows two stable central clusters around the presidents of two Leibniz institutes: Clemens Fuest and Hans-Werner Sinn from the Ifo - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research in Munich and Marcel Fratzscher from the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). The most important scientists of non-economic disciplines associated with the clusters are also revealing: with reference to the cluster "Fuest", these are primarily legal and political scientists. The cluster "Fratzscher" is primarily associated with political scientists and sociologists.
    Keywords: Network analysis, economists, scientists, policy advice
    JEL: A11 A13
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Sanghyun Hong; W. Robert Reed (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: Publication selection bias is widely recognized as a serious challenge to the validity of meta-analyses. This study analyses the performance of three new estimators designed to correct publication bias: the weighted average of the adequately powered (WAAP) estimator of Stanley et al. (2017), and two estimators proposed by Andrews & Kasy (2019), which we call AK1 and AK2. With respect to bias, we find that none of these is consistently superior to the commonly used PET-PEESE estimator. With respect to mean squared error, we find that Andrews & Kasey’s AK1 estimator does consistently better than other estimators except when publication bias is focused solely on the sign, as opposed to the significance, of an effect. With respect to coverage rates, we find that all the estimators perform consistently poorly, so that hypothesis tests about the mean true effect are unreliable. We also find that effect heterogeneity generally worsens estimator performance, and that its adverse impact compounds with greater heterogeneity. This is particularly of concern for meta-analyses in business and economics, where I2 values, a measure of heterogeneity, are often 90 percent or higher. Finally, we find that the type of simulation environment used in the Monte Carlo experiments significantly impacts estimator performance. A better understanding of what makes an “appropriate” simulation environment for analysing meta-analysis estimators would be a potentially productive subject for future research.
    Keywords: Meta-analysis, publication bias, WAAP, Andrews-Kasy, Monte Carlo, Simulations
    JEL: B41 C15 C18
    Date: 2019–04–01
  6. By: Spronken-Smith, Rachel
    Abstract: The traditional apprenticeship model for PhD education involves supervisors mentoring students through a substantive research project and ultimately into academia. Although about half of PhD graduates enter careers beyond academia, this apprenticeship model, with a narrow focus on thesis research has continued to dominate in many countries. While there are variations in terms of coursework requirements, the main assessment continues to be on the PhD thesis, and, in most countries, an oral defense of this thesis. The aims of this working paper are firstly to critique the dominant models of PhD education by using the lens of ‘success’, and secondly to consider an alternative model of PhD education. A PhD program may be deemed successful if it leads to high employment rates, high satisfaction with types of employment, and graduates who are well equipped for being in the world – in work and in society. Through examining these indicators of success, I argue that the North American and British PhD models may be failing, and suggest an alternative model based on ‘constructive alignment’, in which the graduate outcomes are well aligned with teaching and learning methods, and the assessment regime. This alternative model is still based on an apprenticeship approach but requires PhD programs to be tailored to the individual and their desired career pathway, so that alongside and through their research, they can develop a holistic set of graduate attributes – for ‘doctorateness’, for possible careers, and for global citizenship. This model has implications not only for the learning opportunities available to PhD students, but also for how we assess PhDs. Universities may need to develop programs to better support the career planning and professional development of PhD students. A portfolio or digital badge assessment approach, whether summative or formative, would allow PhD graduates to demonstrate the depth and breadth of knowledge and skills they have acquired through doctoral study, and better equip them for their chosen career pathway.
    Keywords: Education
    Date: 2018–08–02

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