nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2021‒07‒26
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. What's Worth Knowing? Economists' Opinions about Economics By Andre, Peter; Falk, Armin
  2. Gender differences in the aims and impacts of research By Zhang, Lin; Sivertsen, Gunnar; Du, Huiying; HUANG, Ying; Glänzel, Wolfgang
  3. Grounded in Methodology, Certified by Journals: The Rise and Evolution of a Mainstream in Economics By Michel De Vroey; Luca Pensieroso

  1. By: Andre, Peter (University of Bonn); Falk, Armin (briq, University of Bonn)
    Abstract: We document economists' opinions about what is worth knowing and ask (i) which research objectives economic research should embrace and (ii) which topics it should study. Almost 10,000 economic researchers from all fields and ranks of the profession participated in our global survey. Detailed bibliometric data show that our sample represents the population of economic researchers who publish in English. We report three main findings. First, economists' opinions are vastly heterogeneous. Second, most researchers are dissatisfied with the status quo, in terms of both research topics and objectives. Third, on average, respondents think that economic research should become more policy-relevant, multidisciplinary, risky and disruptive, and pursue more diverse topics. We also find that dissatisfaction with the status quo is more prevalent among female scholars and associated with lower job satisfaction and higher stress levels. Taken together, the results suggest that economics as a field does not appreciate and work on what economists collectively prefer.
    Keywords: economic research, research objectives, research topics, satisfaction, policy-relevance, multidisciplinarity, diversity
    JEL: A11 A14
    Date: 2021–07
  2. By: Zhang, Lin; Sivertsen, Gunnar; Du, Huiying; HUANG, Ying; Glänzel, Wolfgang
    Abstract: This study uses mixed methods – classical citation analysis, altmetric analysis, a survey with researchers as respondents, and text analysis of the abstracts of scientific articles – to investigate gender differences in the aims and impacts of research. We find that male researchers more often value and engage in research mainly aimed at scientific progress, which is more cited. Female researchers more often value and engage in research mainly aimed at contributing to societal progress, which has more abstract views (usage). The gender differences are observed among researchers who work in the same field of research and have the same age and academic position. Our findings have implications for evaluation and funding policies and practices. A critical discussion of how societal engagement versus citation impact is valued, and how funding criteria reflect gender differences, is warranted.
    Date: 2021–07–11
  3. By: Michel De Vroey (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); Luca Pensieroso (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES))
    Abstract: In this paper, we introduce a new understanding of the mainstream notion in economics. Its distinct character is based on a set of methodological standards deemed compulsory in the theoretical or empirical practice of the discipline. We contend that a theoretical mainstream arose around the 1980s, when the prevailing methodological standards in microeconomics and game theory – mathematical language, equilibrium discipline, and ‘explicit micro-foundations’ – came to be adopted in theoretical papers across a wide range of fields and specializations. We further argue that the 1990 period witnessed the surge of a distinct empirical mainstream and the emergence of a joint mainstream, the result of the rise of experimental economics and a renewal of applied economics centered on the notion of causal inference. An examination of the contents of the articles published in top journals in selected years from 1970 to 2018 confirms our contention.
    Keywords: Mainstream, Neoclassical approach, Experimental economics, Causal inference, Methodology
    JEL: A10 B20 B41 C9
    Date: 2021–07–06

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