nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2019‒08‒26
four papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Gender Gaps in the Evaluation of Research: Evidence from Submissions to Economics Conferences By Hospido, Laura; Sanz, Carlos
  2. Publication Bias and Editorial Statement on Negative Findings By Blanco-Perez, Cristina; Brodeur, Abel
  3. Peer-review of grant proposals. An analysis of Economic and Social Research Council grant applications. By John Jerrim
  4. Students are Almost as Effective as Professors in University Teaching By Feld, Jan; Salamanca, Nicolas; Zölitz, Ulf

  1. By: Hospido, Laura (Bank of Spain); Sanz, Carlos (Bank of Spain)
    Abstract: We study gender differences in the evaluation of submissions to economics conferences. Using data from the Annual Congress of the European Economic Association (2015-2017), the Annual Meeting of the Spanish Economic Association (2012-2017), and the Spring Meeting of Young Economists (2017), we find that all-female-authored papers are 3.2 p.p. (6.8%) less likely to be accepted than all-male-authored papers. This gap is present after controlling for (i) number of authors, (ii) referee fixed effects, (iii) field, (iv) cites of the paper at submission year, (v) previous publication record of the authors, and (vi) the quality of the affiliations of the authors. We also find that the gap is entirely driven by male referees —female referees evaluate male and female-authored papers similarly, but male referees are more favorable towards papers written by men.
    Keywords: academic labor market, economics profession, gender
    JEL: A1 J16
    Date: 2019–07
  2. By: Blanco-Perez, Cristina (University of Ottawa); Brodeur, Abel (University of Ottawa)
    Abstract: In February 2015, the editors of eight health economics journals sent out an editorial statement which aims to reduce the extent of specification searching and reminds referees to accept studies that: "have potential scientific and publication merit regardless of whether such studies' empirical findings do or do not reject null hypotheses". Guided by a pre-analysis, we test whether the editorial statement decreased the extent of publication bias. Our differences-in-differences estimates suggest that the statement decreased the proportion of tests rejecting the null hypothesis by 18 percentage points. Our findings suggest that incentives may be aligned to promote more transparent research.
    Keywords: publication bias, specification searching, pre-analysis plan, research in economics, incentives to publish
    JEL: A11 C13 C44 I10
    Date: 2019–07
  3. By: John Jerrim (Department of Social Science, Institute of Education, University College London; Department of Social Science, Institute of Education, University College London and Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics)
    Abstract: Peer-review is widely used throughout academia, most notably in the publication of journal articles and the allocation of research grants. Yet peer-review has been subject to much criticism, including being slow, unreliable, subjective and potentially prone to bias. This paper contributes to this literature by investigating the consistency of peer-reviews and the impact they have upon a high-stakes outcome (whether a research grant is funded). Analysing data from 4,000 social science grant proposals and 15,000 reviews, this paper illustrates how the peer-review scores assigned by different reviewers have only low levels of consistency (a correlation between reviewer scores of only 0.2). Reviews provided by ‘nominated reviewers’ (i.e. reviewers selected by the grant applicant) appear to be overly generous and do not correlate with the evaluations provided by independent reviewers. Yet a positive review from a nominated reviewer is strongly linked to whether a grant is awarded. Finally, a single negative peer-review is shown to reduce the chances of a proposal being funding from around 55% to around 25% (even when it has otherwise been rated highly).
    Keywords: Peer-review; reliability; grants; scientific funding
    Date: 2019–07–19
  4. By: Feld, Jan (Victoria University of Wellington); Salamanca, Nicolas (Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research); Zölitz, Ulf (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: In a previous paper, we have shown that academic rank is largely unrelated to tutorial teaching effectiveness. In this paper, we further explore the effectiveness of the lowest-ranked instructors: students. We confirm that students are almost as effective as senior instructors, and we produce results informative on the effects of expanding the use of student instructors. We conclude that hiring moderately more student instructors would not harm students, but exclusively using them will likely negatively affect student outcomes. Given how inexpensive student instructors are, however, such a policy might still be worth it.
    Keywords: student instructors, university, teacher performance
    JEL: I21 I24 J24
    Date: 2019–07

This nep-sog issue is ©2019 by Jonas Holmström. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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