nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2021‒03‒08
ten papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Top economics universities and research institutions in Vietnam: evidence from the SSHPA dataset By , AISDL
  2. Fifteen Years of a PBRFS in New Zealand: Incentives and Outcomes By Buckle, Robert A.; Creedy, John; Ball, Ashley
  3. Does exposure to more women in male-dominated fields render female students more career-oriented? By Bruna Borges; Fernanda Estevan
  4. Efficiency in rewarding academic journal publications. The case of Poland By Wojciech Charemza; Michal Lewandowski; Lukasz Wozny
  5. Gender Distribution across Topics in Top 5 Economics Journals: A Machine Learning Approach By J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz; Juan-José Ganuza; Manu García; Luis A. Puch
  6. Working with budget and funding options to make open access journals sustainable By Waidlein, Nicole; Wrzesinski, Marcel; Dubois, Frédéric; Katzenbach, Christian
  7. Who is the Most Sought-After Economist? Ranking Economists Using Google Trends By Tom Coupé
  8. A New Mechanism to Alleviate the Crises of Confidence in Science - With an Application to the Public Goods Game By Luigi Butera; Philip J. Grossman; Daniel Houser; John A. List; Marie Claire Villeval
  9. Working with publication technology to make open access journals sustainable By Wrzesinski, Marcel; Riechert, Patrick Urs; Dubois, Frédéric; Katzenbach, Christian
  10. Indirect Contacts in Hiring: The Economics Job Market By Michael E. Rose; Suraj Shekhar

  1. By: , AISDL
    Abstract: Economic research is vital for creating more suitable policies to facilitate economic growth. Employing a combination of descriptive and Bayesian analyses, this paper investigates the research landscape of the economics discipline in Vietnam, in particular, the leading affiliations in the field and how these institutions compare to each other in terms of productivity, the number of lead authors, new authors and publications' journal impact factor. We also examine the differences in the authors' productivity based on their age and gender. The dataset extracted from the SSHPA database includes 1,444 articles. The findings show that among top producers of economic research in Vietnam, seven are universities, leaving only one representative of research institutes. These top producers account for 52% of research output among 178 institutes recorded in the database. We also find a correlation between a researcher's affiliation, sex, and scientific productivity in Vietnam's economic discipline. Overall, publications by male researchers outnumber those by female ones in most of the top affiliations. The findings also indicate that 40–44 is the age group with the highest scientific productivity. Researchers' collaboration, which is observed through co-authorship, is on the rise in all of the top eight economic research affiliations. However, the quality of current Vietnam's scientific works in the discipline is questionable. Therefore, it is suggested that in order to sustain scientific productivity, economic researchers might need to balance the quantity and quality of their contributions.
    Date: 2021–02–15
  2. By: Buckle, Robert A.; Creedy, John; Ball, Ashley
    Abstract: This paper examines the transformation of New Zealand universities following the introduction in 2003 of the Performance-Based Research Fund System (PBRFS), which assesses performance quality using a peer-review process, and allocates funds based on individual researcher performance. The analysis, based on a social accounting framework, utilises longitudinal researcher data available from the three full assessment rounds, in 2003, 2012 and 2018. The longitudinal data enable identification of entry, exit and quality transformation of researchers and their contribution to changes in university and discipline research quality. The dynamics are found to be closely related to the new incentives created by the assessment system According to the quality metric used by the PBRFS, the research quality of NZ universities increased substantially over the period, although the rate of increase was much slower during the second period, 2012 to 2018, and considerable heterogeneity across universities and disciplines was revealed. Much of the improvement can be attributed to the high exit rate of lower-quality researchers. New entrants consistently reduced the average quality of all groups, reflecting the difficulty of recruiting high-quality researchers. Changes in the discipline composition of universities made a negligible contribution compared to improvements in the quality of the stock of researchers.
    Keywords: Performance-Based Research Funding Systems, Policy evaluation, Research quality, Social Accounting Framework.,
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Bruna Borges; Fernanda Estevan
    Abstract: The underrepresentation of women in male-dominated fields of study can generate a lack of role models for female students, which may influence their career choices. This paper sheds light on this question, investigating the existence of impacts of the gender composition of instructors and peers in the Department of Economics from a selective Brazilian university. Specifically, we analyze whether having higher shares of female professors and classmates throughout undergraduate studies in Economics affects female students’ labor market outcomes. We use comprehensive administrative data from the University of Sao Paulo, containing information on students’ academic results and students’, instructors’, and course sections’ characteristics. We merge these data with Brazilian labor market and firm ownership data to obtain a broad range of career outcomes, including labor force participation, occupational choices, career progression, and wages. To overcome endogeneity issues arising from students’ self-selection into professors and peers, we exploit the random assignment of students in the first-semester classes and focus on mandatory courses. A higher representation of women in a male-dominated field, such as Economics, increases female students’ labor force participation. Moreover, larger female faculty shares increase the probability that a female student becomes a top manager. These results suggest ways to counteract the highly discussed glass ceiling in high-earning occupations. We show that students’ academic performance and elective coursechoice are not driving the effects. Instead, we find suggestive evidence that higher shares of female classmates may increase the likelihood of working during undergraduate studies, leading to stronger labor market attachment.
    Keywords: gender; economics; higher education; glass ceiling; labor market
    JEL: J16 J24 I23
    Date: 2021–02–22
  4. By: Wojciech Charemza; Michal Lewandowski; Lukasz Wozny
    Abstract: We consider the efficiency of a mechanism for incentivising publication in academic journals where a research supervisory body awards points for papers that appear in quality publications. Building on the principal-agent literature with hidden types, we assume that such a body wants to maximise the expected prestige of academic disciplines. It sets up a reward system so that researchers who are aiming to maximise their own rewards also maximise the objective function of the research supervisory body, through their submission decisions. The model is calibrated to the reward scheme introduced within the Polish higher education reform in 2018, for which a series of policy recommendations is given
    Keywords: academic publications; efficient mechanisms; optimal categorisation
    JEL: I23 C55 O31 C53
    Date: 2021–02
  5. By: J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz; Juan-José Ganuza; Manu García; Luis A. Puch
    Abstract: We analyze all the articles published in Top 5 economic journals between 2002 and 2019 in order to find gender differences in their research approach. Using an unsupervised machine learning algorithm (Structural Topic Model) developed by Roberts et al. (2019) we characterize jointly the set of latent topics that best fits our data (the set of abstracts) and how the documents/abstracts are allocated in each latent topic. This latent topics are mixtures over words were each word has a probability of belonging to a topic after controlling by year and journal. This latent topics may capture research fields but also other more subtle characteristics related to the way in which the articles are written. We find that females are uneven distributed along these latent topics by using only data driven methods. The differences about gender research approaches we found in this paper, are "automatically" generated given the research articles, without an arbitrary allocation to particular categories (as JEL codes, or research areas).
    Keywords: machine learning, structural topic model, gender, research fields
    JEL: I20 J16
    Date: 2021–03
  6. By: Waidlein, Nicole; Wrzesinski, Marcel; Dubois, Frédéric; Katzenbach, Christian
    Abstract: Within the realm of electronic publishing, journals are plenty and their publishing models vary greatly. A segment most in line with fair and transparent open access principles are journals that were born open access, are scholar-led, and do not levy any fees on authors or readers. But while promising for increasing access to quality research and furthering bibliodiversity (i.e., variety of content, publication formats and publishing institutions), a survey we did in Germany in 2020 suggests that many of the journals in that segment face the threat of extinction. This white paper provides preliminary answers to the monetary challenge by evaluating possible financing models, discussing their applicability, and facilitating the transferability of these findings by including a short case study of Internet Policy Review-an international, peer-reviewed diamond open access journal.
    Keywords: Open access,Scholar-led,Business models,Sustainability,Funding,Small sciences
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Tom Coupé (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: This paper uses Google Trends to rank economists and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of using Google Trends compared with other ranking methods, like those based on citations or downloads. I find that search intensity rankings based on Google Trends data are only modestly correlated with more traditional measures of scholarly impact; hence, search intensity statistics can provide additional information, allowing one to show a more comprehensive picture of academics’ impact. In addition, search intensity rankings can help to illustrate the variety in economists’ careers that can lead to fame and allows a comparison of the current impact of both contemporaneous and past economists. Complete rankings can be found at
    Keywords: Economists, rankings, Google Trends, performance measurement
    JEL: A11 B30
    Date: 2021–02–01
  8. By: Luigi Butera; Philip J. Grossman; Daniel Houser; John A. List; Marie Claire Villeval
    Abstract: Creation of empirical knowledge in economics has taken a dramatic turn in the past few decades. One feature of the new research landscape is the nature and extent to which scholars generate data. Today, in nearly every field the experimental approach plays an increasingly crucial role in testing theories and informing organizational deci- sions. Whereas there is much to appreciate about this revolution, recently a credibility crisis has taken hold across the social sciences, arguing that an important component of Fischer (1935)’s tripod has not been fully embraced: replication. Indeed, while the importance of replications is not debatable scientifically, current incentives are not sufficient to encourage replications from the individual researcher’s perspective. We propose a novel mechanism that promotes replications by leveraging mutually benefi- cial gains between scholars and editors. We develop a model capturing the trade-offs involved in seeking independent replications before submission of a paper to journals. We showcase our method via an investigation of the effects of Knightian uncertainty on cooperation rates in public goods games, a pervasive and yet largely unexplored feature in the literature.
    Keywords: Replication, science, public goods, uncertainty, experiment.
    JEL: C91
    Date: 2020–12
  9. By: Wrzesinski, Marcel; Riechert, Patrick Urs; Dubois, Frédéric; Katzenbach, Christian
    Abstract: Over the last 25 years, scholars around the world have used electronic publishing to open up their work, share it with interested publics instantly or even become publishers themselves. This white paper explores in what ways advances in publication technology in the journal sector (e.g. the widespread use of content management and editorial systems) contributes to a more inclusive and sustainable open access ecosystem. Drawing on a study we did in Germany in 2019-2021, and for which we tested technical solutions together with the international, peer-reviewed diamond open access journal Internet Policy Review, we present and discuss publishing solutions based on software, workflows, and collaborations with regard to their practicability and scalability. The paper finds that scholar-led publishing is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to technical solutions tending towards increased bibliodiversity (i.e., variety of content, publication formats and publishing institutions).
    Keywords: Open access,Scholar-led,Publication technology,Sustainability,Small sciences
    Date: 2021
  10. By: Michael E. Rose (Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition); Suraj Shekhar (Ashoka University)
    Abstract: Using two identification strategies, we demonstrate a positive relationship between the connectedness of a PhD adviser (in the coauthor network) and the placement of her student. In method one, identification is achieved by using changes in the centrality of the adviser’s coauthors in the year of student placement as an exogenous shock to the adviser’s centrality. Our second strategy uses the death of faculty members as an exogenous shock to show that the probability of a student being placed at a particular university reduces when the ‘social distance’ between her adviser and that university increases due to the death.
    Keywords: Placement, academic labor market, social network, referrals
    Date: 2021–02

This nep-sog issue is ©2021 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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.