nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2023‒05‒08
eight papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. The Role of Gender and Coauthors in Academic Publication Behavior By W. Benedikt Schmal; Justus Haucap; Leon Knoke
  2. AGING IN STYLE: Seniority and Sentiment in Scholarly Writing By Lea-Rachel Kosnik; Daniel S. Hamermesh
  3. Does Grant Funding Foster Research Impact? Evidence from France By Alberto Corsini; Michele Pezzoni
  4. Discrimination in the Formation of Academic Networks: A Field Experiment on #EconTwitter By Nicolás Ajzenman; Bruno Ferman; Sant’Anna Pedro C.
  5. A Menagerie of Rankings: A Look in RePEc’s Factory By Laurent Linnemer
  6. Peer Prediction for Peer Review: Designing a Marketplace for Ideas By Alexander Ugarov
  7. Women's Colleges and Economics Major Choice: Evidence from Wellesley College Applicants By Kristin F. Butcher; Patrick McEwan; Akila Weerapana
  8. The role of the structure of social relations in achieving academic success By Cherenkova Kseniya; Mirzoyan Ashot

  1. By: W. Benedikt Schmal; Justus Haucap; Leon Knoke
    Abstract: We use the negotiations for large-scale open-access agreements between German research institutions and leading academic publishers to study how changes in the attractiveness of various journals affect the publication behavior of researchers in economics and adjacent fields. First, as German universities canceled their subscriptions to Elsevier, we study how this affected German economists’ incentives to publish in its journals. Second, Springer and Wiley entered into open-access agreements so that researchers in Germany are eligible to publish articles open-access without additional charges for them. Using 243, 757 articles published between 2015 and 2022, we find a shift toward included journals, which is most pronounced among women. For Elsevier, the effect is negative and women have a higher tendency to opt out than men. In mixed teams, the dominant gender drives behavior. We conclude that men tend to seek reputation, women visibility. Thereby, female researchers contribute more to the public good of open science. Our findings provide a new explanatory channel of the academic gender gap.
    Keywords: academic publishing, journal choice, gender differences, DEAL, Elsevier, Springer Nature, Wiley, transformative agreements
    JEL: A14 I23 J16 L86 Z11
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Lea-Rachel Kosnik; Daniel S. Hamermesh
    Abstract: The scholarly impact of academic research matters for academic promotions, influence, relevance to public policy, and others. Focusing on writing style in top-level professional journals, we examine how it changes with age, and how stylistic differences and age affect impact. As top-level scholars age, their writing style increasingly differs from others’. The impact (measured by citations) of each contribution decreases, due to the direct effect of age and the much smaller indirect effects through style. Non-native English-speakers write in different styles from others, in ways that reduce the impact of their research. Nobel laureates’ scholarly writing evinces less certainty about the conclusions of their research than that of other highly productive scholars.
    JEL: A14 B41
    Date: 2023–04
  3. By: Alberto Corsini (Université Côte d'Azur, France; CNRS, GREDEG); Michele Pezzoni (Université Côte d'Azur, France; CNRS, GREDEG)
    Abstract: Over the last fifteen years, European countries have increasingly relied on competitive grants to allocate research funding, replacing the more traditional block funding model. Policymakers are interested in assessing the effectiveness of the grant funding model in producing impactful research. However, the literature aiming to quantify the effect of grants on the resulting research's impact is scant. In the French context, we compare the impact of scientific articles resulting from the support of competitive grants from the main national funding agency with the impact of articles not supported by grants. We rely on publication acknowledgments to retrieve funding information and on citation data to assess the articles' impact. We find that articles supported by competitive grants receive more citations than articles not supported by grants in the long run, while the difference is not statistically significant in the short run. We find heterogeneity in the effect of grant funding on citations across fields.
    Date: 2022–10
  4. By: Nicolás Ajzenman (McGill University); Bruno Ferman (São Paulo School of Economics - FGV); Sant’Anna Pedro C. (São Paulo School of Economics - FGV)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the results of an experiment designed to identify discrimination in users’ following behavior on Twitter. Specifically, we created fictitious bot accounts that resembled humans and claimed to be PhD students in economics. The accounts differed in three characteristics: gender (male or female), race (Black or White), and university affiliation (top- or lower-ranked). The bot accounts randomly followed Twitter users who form part of the #EconTwitter academic community. We measured how many follow-backs each account obtained after a given period. Twitter users from this community were 12% more likely to follow accounts of White students compared to those of Black students; 21% more likely to follow accounts of students from top-ranked, prestigious universities compared to accounts of lower-ranked institutions; and 25% more likely to follow female compared to male students. The racial gap persisted even among students from top-ranked institutions, suggesting that Twitter users racially discriminate even in the presence of a signal that could be interpreted as indicative of high academic potential. Notably, we find that Black male students from top-ranked universities receive no more follow-backs than White male students from relatively lower-ranked institutions.
    Keywords: Discrimination; Economics Profession; Gender; Race; Social Media
    JEL: J15 J16 A11 C93 I23
    Date: 2023–04
  5. By: Laurent Linnemer
    Abstract: This paper provides an overview of RePEc a digital platform for the dissemination of research in economics. Specifically, the focus is on RePEc’s main author ranking, which aggregates 36 different rankings based on a range of criteria. The paper first describes the logic behind the ranking and then presents some key descriptive statistics on the top 5% of authors. Notably, the ranking is dominated by English-speaking authors, particularly those affiliated with institutions in the USA. Moreover, less than 9% of authors are female, while around 6% are deceased. Among the living authors, the estimated average age is 60, with over 21% of them aged 70 or above. The paper next discusses the aggregation of the 36 rankings using the harmonic mean, which is RePEc’s preferred method. Some counterintuitive properties of this approach are highlighted. Finally, I propose a simpler ranking system based on two criteria –number of journal pages and number of citations– that weight journals and citations according to their qualities and also correct for the number of authors.
    Keywords: economists, RePEc, rankings
    JEL: A14 L11 R32
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Alexander Ugarov
    Abstract: The paper describes a potential platform to facilitate academic peer review with emphasis on early-stage research. This platform aims to make peer review more accurate and timely by rewarding reviewers on the basis of peer prediction algorithms. The algorithm uses a variation of Peer Truth Serum for Crowdsourcing (Radanovic et al., 2016) with human raters competing against a machine learning benchmark. We explain how our approach addresses two large productive inefficiencies in science: mismatch between research questions and publication bias. Better peer review for early research creates additional incentives for sharing it, which simplifies matching ideas to teams and makes negative results and p-hacking more visible.
    Date: 2023–03
  7. By: Kristin F. Butcher; Patrick McEwan; Akila Weerapana
    Abstract: Many observers argue that diversity in Economics and STEM fields is critical, not simply because of egalitarian goals, but because who is in a field may shape what is studied by it. If increasing the rate of majoring in mathematically-intensive fields among women is a worthy goal, then understanding whether women’s colleges causally affect that choice is important. Among all admitted applicants to Wellesley College, enrollees are 7.2 percentage points (94%) more likely to receive an Economics degree than non-enrollees (a plausible lower bound given negative selection into enrollment on math skills and major preferences). Overall, 3.2 percentage points—or 44% of the difference between enrollees and non-enrollees—is explained by college exposure to female instructors and students, consistent with a wider role for women’s colleges in increasing female participation in Economics.
    JEL: I23 J16 J24
    Date: 2023–04
  8. By: Cherenkova Kseniya (Department of Economics, Lomonosov Moscow State University); Mirzoyan Ashot (Department of Economics, Lomonosov Moscow State University)
    Abstract: This paper assesses the impact of the network of social interactions on the academic results of students who studied at the Faculty of Economics of Lomonosov Moscow State University in 2021-2022 academic year in the third year of study. The study examines the impact of social interaction on compulsory math subjects of 2-3 courses: Mathematical statistics and Econometrics. Data on the structure of the social network was collected using a survey, which allows you to accurately determine which students influence each other. Effect effect social interaction was assessed using a linear-averaged model. To eliminate the effect of self-selection, a tool is formed with which the presence of the influence of "friends through one handshake", which is exogenous, is checked. The stability of the results is checked by forming a fake network with a random structure of connections. In the work, it was possible to identify the effect of the influence of social interactions on the results of the econometrics exam: on average, all other things being equal, the better the student's friends study, the better he studies by himself. At the same time, there was no significant effect of social ties on the results of the exam in Mathematical Statistics: this can be explained by the fact that students took the exam remotely. Additional research is required to test this hypothesis .
    Keywords: Social connections, students, academic success, neighbor effect, network effects
    JEL: A22 A29
    Date: 2022–12

This nep-sog issue is ©2023 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.