nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2020‒11‒30
six papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Research Ethics Beyond the IRB: Selection Bias and the Direction of Innovation in Applied Economics By Michler, Jeffrey D; Masters, William A.; Josephson, Anna
  2. The glass ceiling revisited: empirical evidence from the German academic career ladder By Heinrichs, Katrin; Sonnabend, Hendrik
  3. How the Publish-or-Perish Principle Divides a Science : The Case of Academic Economists By van Dalen, Hendrik Peter
  4. Toward a FAIR Reproducible Research By Bontemps, Christophe; Orozco, Valérie
  5. Double blind vs. open review: an evolutionary game logit-simulating the behavior of authors and reviewers By Mantas Radzvilas; Francesco De Pretis; William Peden; Daniele Tortoli; Barbara Osimani
  6. Gender Stereotype and the Scientific Career of Women: Evidence from Biomedical Research Centers By José García-Montalvo; Daniele Alimonti; Sonja Reiland; Isabelle Vernos

  1. By: Michler, Jeffrey D (University of Arizona); Masters, William A.; Josephson, Anna
    Abstract: Principles for ethical behavior in the context of research are codified into rules that may change over time to meet peoples’ needs in specific institutions, including universities and professional associations. This paper aims to spark discussion about a set of ethical choices beyond those addressed by an IRB or recent association policy statements. Our specific focus is topic selection, and the role of researchers’ interests and incentives in determining the kinds of research that we do. Using the principle of induced innovation, we show how changing incentives can influence the direction of research effort and thereby affect the kinds of policies or technologies that are supported by available evidence. With this paper, we hope to generate discussion among applied economists about selection bias in research, and how we can use insights from economics itself to guide topic selection.
    Date: 2020–11–07
  2. By: Heinrichs, Katrin; Sonnabend, Hendrik
    Abstract: Women are underrepresented in leadership positions - academia is no exception. Using data on careers of doctoral graduates in Germany, we study gender differences in the decision to stay at university as a postdoctoral researcher and in the intention to become a professor. We find that gender gaps related to aiming for a professorship can be fully explained by observable characteristics other than gender. On the contrary, even after adding controls for an array of characteristics relevant to academic careers, we find female graduates to be 5.9 percentage points less likely to hold a postdoctoral position which allows them to qualify for professorship.
    Keywords: female labour supply,gender gap,higher education,glass ceiling
    JEL: I26 J16 J24
    Date: 2020
  3. By: van Dalen, Hendrik Peter (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)
    Keywords: SCIENCE; incentives; publication pressure; science metrics; universities; economists
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Bontemps, Christophe; Orozco, Valérie
    Abstract: Two major movements are actively at work to change the way research is done, shared and reproduced. The first is the reproducible research (RR) approach, which has never been easier to implement given the current availability of tools and DIY manuals. The second is the FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) approach, which aims to support the availability and sharing of research materials. We show here that despite the efforts made by researchers to improve the reproducibility of their research, the initial goals of RR remain mostly unmet. There is great demand, both within the scientific community and from the general public, for greater transparency and for trusted published results. As a scientific community, we need to reorganize the discusion of all materials used in a study and to rethink the publication process. Researchers and journal reviewers should be able to easily use research materials for reproducibility, replicability or reusability purposes or for exploration of new research paths. Here we present how the research process, from data collection to paper publication, could be reorganized and introduce some already available tools and initiatives. We show that even in cases in which data are confidential, journals and institutions can organize and promote "FAIR-like RR" solutions where not only the published paper but also all related materials can be used by any researcher..
    Keywords: Reproducible Research; FAIR; Trusted Science; Confidential Data.
    Date: 2020–11–09
  5. By: Mantas Radzvilas; Francesco De Pretis; William Peden; Daniele Tortoli; Barbara Osimani
    Abstract: Despite the tremendous successes of science in providing knowledge and technologies, the Replication Crisis has highlighted that scientific institutions have much room for improvement. Peer-review is one target of criticism and suggested reforms. However, despite numerous controversies peer review systems, plus the obvious complexity of the incentives affecting the decisions of authors and reviewers, there is very little systematic and strategic analysis of peer-review systems. In this paper, we begin to address this feature of the peer-review literature by applying the tools of game theory. We use simulations to develop an evolutionary model based around a game played by authors and reviewers, before exploring some of its tendencies. In particular, we examine the relative impact of double-blind peer-review and open review on incentivising reviewer effort under a variety of parameters. We also compare (a) the impact of one review system versus another with (b) other alterations, such as higher costs of reviewing. We find that is no reliable difference between peer-review systems in our model. Furthermore, under some conditions, higher payoffs for good reviewing can lead to less (rather than more) author effort under open review. Finally, compared to the other parameters that we vary, it is the exogenous utility of author effort that makes an important and reliable difference in our model, which raises the possibility that peer-review might not be an important target for institutional reforms.
    Date: 2020–11
  6. By: José García-Montalvo; Daniele Alimonti; Sonja Reiland; Isabelle Vernos
    Abstract: Women are underrepresented in the top ranks of the scientific career, including the biomedical disciplines. This is not generally the result of explicit and easily recognizable gender biases but the outcome of decisions with many components of unconscious nature that are difficult to assess. Evidence suggests that implicit gender stereotypes influence perceptions as well as decisions. To explore these potential reasons of women's underrepresentation in life sciences we analyzed the outcome of gender-science and gender-career Implicit Association Tests (IAT) taken by 2,589 scientists working in high profile biomedical research centers. We found that male-science association is less pronounced among researchers than in the general population (34% below the level of the general population). However, this difference is mostly explained by the low level of the IAT score among female researchers. Despite the highly meritocratic view of the academic career, male scientists have a high level of male-science association (261% the level among women scientists), similar to the general population.
    Keywords: gender bias, implicit association test, research centers, scientific career
    JEL: J16 J44 J7 O32
    Date: 2020–10

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