nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2020‒03‒02
four papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Is Scholarly Refereeing Productive (at the Margin)? By Hadavand, Aboozar; Hamermesh, Daniel S.; Wilson, Wesley W.
  2. Stagnation and Scientific Incentives By Jay Bhattacharya; Mikko Packalen
  3. Using Archetypoid Analysis to Classify Institutions and Faculties of Economics By Klaus Wohlrabe; Sabine Gralka
  4. Preprint servers to enhance access to scientific knowledge By Moustafa, Khaled

  1. By: Hadavand, Aboozar (Johns Hopkins University); Hamermesh, Daniel S. (Barnard College); Wilson, Wesley W. (University of Oregon)
    Abstract: In economics many articles are subjected to multiple rounds of refereeing at the same journal, which generates time costs of referees alone of at least $50 million. This process leads to remarkably longer publication lags than in other social sciences. We examine whether repeated refereeing produces any benefits, using an experiment at one journal that allows authors to submit under an accept/reject (fast-track or not) or the usual regime. We evaluate the scholarly impacts of articles by their subsequent citation histories, holding constant their sub-fields, authors' demographics and prior citations, and other characteristics. There is no payoff to refereeing beyond the first round and no difference between accept/reject articles and others. This result holds accounting for authors' selectivity into the two regimes, which we model formally to generate an empirical selection equation. This latter is used to provide instrumental estimates of the effect of each regime on scholarly impact.
    Keywords: publishing, refereeing, citations
    JEL: A1 I2
    Date: 2019–12
  2. By: Jay Bhattacharya; Mikko Packalen
    Abstract: New ideas no longer fuel economic growth the way they once did. A popular explanation for stagnation is that good ideas are harder to find, rendering slowdown inevitable. We present a simple model of the lifecycle of scientific ideas that points to changes in scientist incentives as the cause of scientific stagnation. Over the last five decades, citations have become the dominant way to evaluate scientific contributions and scientists. This emphasis on citations in the measurement of scientific productivity shifted scientist rewards and behavior on the margin toward incremental science and away from exploratory projects that are more likely to fail, but which are the fuel for future breakthroughs. As attention given to new ideas decreased, science stagnated. We also explore ways to broaden how scientific productivity is measured and rewarded, involving both academic search engines such as Google Scholar measuring which contributions explore newer ideas and university administrators and funding agencies utilizing these new metrics in research evaluation. We demonstrate empirically that measures of novelty are correlated with but distinct from measures of scientific impact, which suggests that if also novelty metrics were utilized in scientist evaluation, scientists might pursue more innovative, riskier, projects.
    JEL: I1 O3
    Date: 2020–02
  3. By: Klaus Wohlrabe; Sabine Gralka
    Abstract: We use archetypoid analysis as a new tool to categorize institutions and faculties of economics. The approach identifies typical characteristics of extreme (archetypal) values in a multivariate data set. Each entity under investigation is assigned relative shares of the identified archetypoid, which show the affiliation of the entity to the archetypoid. In contrast to its predecessor, the archetypal analysis, archetypoids always represent actual observed units in the data. The approach therefore allows to classify institutions in a rarely used way. While the method has been recognized in the literature, it is the first time that it is used in higher education research and as in our case for institutions and faculties of economics. Our dataset contains seven bibliometric indicators for 298 top-level institutions obtained from the RePEc database. We identify three archetypoids, which are characterized as the top-, the low- and the medium-performer. We discuss the assignment of shares of the identified archetypoids to the institutions in detail. As a sensitivity analysis we show how the classification changes when for four and five archetypoids are considered.
    Keywords: archetypoid analysis, classification, RePEc, faculty of economics, economic institutions
    JEL: C38 I21 I23
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Moustafa, Khaled
    Abstract: Preprint servers can enhance the access to scientific knowledge by linking indexed papers in bibliography databases to their counterpart preprint versions whenever available. The current state of connection is to link preprints to their published versions in peer-reviewed journals. Here, I suggest the opposite. That is, linking indexed journal papers to their preprint versions wherever these are posted on a preprint server. Such linking from paid version (journals' articles) to their corresponding free preprint versions would make much sense as it removes the barrier to get access to pay walled papers for free.
    Date: 2020–02–18

This nep-sog issue is ©2020 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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