nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2021‒03‒01
four papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Ranking Institutions within a Discipline: The Steep Mountain of Academic Excellence By Balázs R. Sziklai
  2. Fifty Shades of QE: Conflicts of Interest in Economic Research By Brian Fabo; Martina Jancokova; Elisabeth Kempf; Lubos Pastor
  3. Economics students: self-selected in preferences and indoctrinated in beliefs By Antonio M. Espín; Manuel Correa; Alberto Ruiz-Villaverde
  4. Between scientific publication and public perception: Some economic remarks on the allocation of time in science By Follert, Florian; Naumann, Chantal; Thieme, Lutz

  1. By: Balázs R. Sziklai (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungary and Department of Operations Research and Actuarial Sciences, Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary)
    Abstract: We present a novel algorithm to rank smaller academic entities such as university departments or research groups within a research discipline. The Weighted Top Candidate (WTC) algorithm is a generalisation of an expert identification method. The axiomatic characterisation of WTC shows why it is especially suitable for scientometric purposes. The key axiom is stability -- the selected institutions support each other's membership. The WTC algorithm, upon receiving an institution citation matrix, produces a list of institutions that can be deemed experts of the field. With a parameter we can adjust how exclusive our list should be. By completely relaxing the parameter, we obtain the largest stable set -- academic entities that can qualify as experts under the mildest conditions. With a strict setup, we obtain a short list of the absolute elite. We demonstrate the algorithm on a citation database compiled from game theoretic literature published between 2008--2017. By plotting the size of the stable sets with respect to exclusiveness, we can obtain an overview of the competitiveness of the field. The diagram hints at how difficult it is for an institution to improve its position.
    Keywords: University departments, Ranking, Weighted Top Candidate method, Research discipline
    JEL: C80 D71
    Date: 2021–01
  2. By: Brian Fabo (National Bank of Slovakia); Martina Jancokova (European Central Bank); Elisabeth Kempf (University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; CEPR); Lubos Pastor (National Bank of Slovakia; University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; NBER; CEPR)
    Abstract: Central banks sometimes evaluate their own policies. To assess the inherent conflict of interest, we compare the research findings of central bank researchers and academic economists regarding the macroeconomic effects of quantitative easing (QE). We find that central bank papers report larger effects of QE on output and inflation. Central bankers are also more likely to report significant effects of QE on output and to use more positive language in the abstract. Central bankers who report larger QE effects on output experience more favorable career outcomes. A survey of central banks reveals substantial involvement of bank management in research production.
    Keywords: Conflict of interest, central bank, quantitative easing, qe, career concerns
    JEL: A11 E52 E58 G28
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Antonio M. Espín (Department of Social Anthropology, University of Granada); Manuel Correa (Department of Applied Economics, University of Granada); Alberto Ruiz-Villaverde (Department of Applied Economics, University of Granada)
    Abstract: There is much debate as to why economics students display more self-interested behavior than other students: whether homo economicus self-select into economics or students are instead “indoctrinated†by economics learning, and whether these effects impact on preferences or beliefs about others’ behavior. Using a classroom survey (n>500) with novel behavioral questions we show that, compared to students in other majors, econ students report being: (i) more self-interested (in particular, less compassionate or averse to advantageous inequality) already in the first year and the difference remains among more senior students; (ii) more likely to think that people will be unwilling to work if unemployment benefits increase (thus, assuming others are motivated primarily by self-interest), but only among senior students. These results suggest self-selection in preferences and indoctrination in beliefs.
    Keywords: self-selection, indoctrination, self-interest, inequality aversion, beliefs
    JEL: A11 A13 A22 D31 D63 D9 I22
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Follert, Florian; Naumann, Chantal; Thieme, Lutz
    Abstract: Like every other human being, scientists also have to allocate their scarce resources of time and production according to their personal preferences. Today's scientific system is domina-ted by different (external) incentives that influence a researcher's decisions. With respect to the individual research strategy, there seems to be a conflict between scientific rigor and prac-tical relevance. In addition, only certain scientific results actually find their way into the ge-neral public. We assume therefore that the use of virological and economic expertise are two different forms of reception of science by another social sphere. If our assumption is correct, the question arises as to how such rules of reception are formed and stabilized. This question will be investigated in the present paper. With regard to his or her publication strategy, the scientist therefore has to decide interdependently. Based on the economic approach in general, and Gary S. Becker's theory of time allocation specifically, we develop a simple model to ex-plain scientific decision-making behavior. We derive several implications with regard to a strategy on time allocation in research processes, and thus contribute to a better understanding of scientific decision-making processes. In our paper, we concentrate on the general conditions in (business) economics, but the findings can also be applied to other (human) sciences. In order to be as up-to-date as possible, we take an additional look at the role of science in the current COVID-19 crisis as well.
    Keywords: economics of science,allocation of time,publication strategy,scientific system,COVID-19,Zeitallokation
    Date: 2020

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