nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2023‒06‒26
five papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. Gender and the time cost of peer review By Diane Alexander; Olga Gorelkina; Erin Hengel; Richard S.J. Tol
  2. Academic Mentoring Nature-Nurture Cycle: Some Insights from Own Experience By Evans Osabuohien; Alhassan A-W Karakara
  3. A global perspective on the social structure of science By Aliakbar Akbaritabar; Andrés F. Castro Torres; Vincent Larivière
  4. On the Downsides of Scientific Leadership: Colleague Amnesia and Motivated Forgetting to Cite Generators of Ideas in Academia and What to Do about It By Julia M. Puaschunder
  5. Peer Effects on Academic Self-concept: A Large Randomized Field Experiment By Tamás Keller; Jinho Kim; Felix Elwert

  1. By: Diane Alexander (The Wharton School, Philadelphia, PA, USA); Olga Gorelkina (University of Liverpool, UK); Erin Hengel (London School of Economics); Richard S.J. Tol (Department of Economics, University of Sussex, BN1 9SL Falmer, United Kingdom)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate one factor that can directly contribute to—as well as indirectly shed light on the other causes of—the gender gap in academic publishing: length of peer review. Using detailed administrative data from an economics field journal, we find that, conditional on manuscript quality, referees spend longer reviewing female-authored papers, are slower to recommend accepting them, manuscripts by women go through more rounds of review and their authors spend longer revising them. Less disaggregated data from 32 economics and finance journals corroborate these results. We conclude by showing that all gender gaps decline—and eventually disappear—as the same referee reviews more papers. This pattern suggests novice referees initially statistically discriminate against female authors, but are less likely to do so as their information about and confidence in the peer review process improves. More generally, they also suggest that women may be particularly disadvantaged when evaluators are less familiar with the objectives and parameters of an assessment framework.
    Keywords: Gender Inequality, Statistical Discrimination, Research Productivity, Peer Review
    JEL: A11 D8 J16 J24 J7
    Date: 2023–06
  2. By: Evans Osabuohien (Covenant University, Nigeria); Alhassan A-W Karakara (Covenant University, Nigeria)
    Abstract: In this little article, we discuss our experience and relationship as a mentor (Evans Osabuohien) and mentee (Alhassan Karakara) and useful insights gained over the mentorship period of five years. This becomes essential following various discussions we have had at different academic for a notably conferences, seminars, and workshops. The discourse is mainly focused on the areas of conducting research, scholarly publication, and administering research grants. We underscore three points to help mentors and mentees to establish a good working relationship in the mentoring process drawing from our experience as social scientists, which would also be applicable in other disciplines.
    Keywords: Academic research mentoring, Academic publication mentoring, Research grant mentoring
    Date: 2023–01
  3. By: Aliakbar Akbaritabar (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Andrés F. Castro Torres (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany); Vincent Larivière
    Abstract: We reconstruct the career-long productivity, impact, (inter)national collaboration, and (inter)national mobility trajectory of 8.2 million scientists worldwide. We study the interrelationships among four well-established bibliometric claims about academics’ productivity, collaboration, mobility, and visibility. Scrutinizing these claims is only possible with a global perspective simultaneously considering influential bibliometric variables alongside collaboration among scientists. We use Multiple Correspondence Analysis with a combination of 12 widely-used bibliometric variables. We further analyze the networks of collaboration among these authors in the form of a bipartite co-authorship network and detect densely collaborating communities using Constant Potts Model. We found that the claims of literature on increased productivity, collaboration, and mobility are principally driven by a small fraction of influential scientists (top 10%). We find a hierarchically clustered structure with a small top class, and large middle and bottom classes. Investigating the composition of communities of collaboration networks in terms of these top-to-bottom classes and the academic age distribution shows that those at the top succeed by collaborating with a varying group of authors from other classes and age groups. Nevertheless, they are benefiting disproportionately to a much higher degree from this collaboration and its outcome in form of impact and citations.
    Keywords: World, inequality, science
    JEL: J1 Z0
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Julia M. Puaschunder (Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
    Abstract: The contemporary scientific discourse and academic promotion hierarchies incentivize leadership. Academic leadership is praised for innovation and groundbreaking insights that advance humankind. Rising stars and leaders-in-the-field in academia are those scientists that tell something new and add to the existing literature a novel finding. The obsession with scientific leadership has its clear merits in promoting innovation and prospering scientific advancements of humankind. This paper, however, debatably introduced the idea that an overall focus on scientific leadership may also crowd out honesty in scientific followership. Obsession with being the first to report fresh ideas may distract from accurate reporting of who initially generated ideas. Scientific innovation bias may lead to willingly neglecting to give proper account of and reference to colleagues’ work. Especially when different disciplinary schools of understanding, language barriers or cultural silos on different continents exist, chances are opening for neglecting a fair reporting of who came up with an idea first. Scientists may use their language skills to soak up ideas in different parts of the world and get inspired by literature from one context, or other culture to transpose the knowledge and introduce it as something new in another research context, school or world without honest giving credit to the actual generator of the idea. This strategy is introduced in this paper as ‘colleague amnesia.’ Colleague amnesia occurs if the actual generator of an idea, effect or trend, who inspired subsequent research, is actively and deliberately ‘forgotten’ to be mentioned or not given fair credit in a reference, citation or acknowledgment in a first-introduction-of-idea publication. ‘Colleague amnesia’ can fuel into a more widespread ‘motivated forgetting’ culture when this behavior is backed by group norms and collective practices of certain scientific fields or research clans. If institutions are knowingly capitalizing on motivated forgetting as a market strategy and institutional designs tolerate and nurture this unethical and inefficient behavior, this turns into ‘research capitalism.’ Lastly, if institutional settings back the ideas reaper for the sake of protecting their community’s overall reputation by the negative destruction of initial ideas generators in order to make victims disappear or weaken their claim of intellectual property, research capitalism turns into ‘research fascism.’ The negative implications of colleague amnesia, motivated forgetting, research capitalism and research fascism to the individual, the scientific collective, institutions but also the larger society are outlined in this paper. Unethical market distortions are not only seen as this kind of implicit light plagiarism. The false crediting of ‘translators’ as innovators and genius leaders-in-the-field breeds dishonesty in academia and discourages honest participants in academia. For the scientific community, colleague amnesia and motivated forgetting imply inefficient replication of ideas and waste of resources and time for discovery. Institutional settings perpetrating cheating individuals discredit all other honest merits and makes institutions vulnerable to being called out. The paper ends with a discussion of potential remedies for colleague amnesia, motivated forgetting, research capitalism and research fascism.
    Keywords: Cheating, Citation, Colleague Amnesia, Followership
    Date: 2023–04
  5. By: Tamás Keller (KRTK KTI; Computational Social Science - Research Center for Educational and Network Studies, Centre for Social Sciences; and TÁRKI Social Research Institute); Jinho Kim (Department of Health Policy and Management, Korea University and Interdisciplinary Program in Precision Public Health, Korea University); Felix Elwert (Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Department of Biostatistics and Medical Informatics)
    Abstract: Social theories posit that peers affect students’ academic self-concept (ASC). Most prominently, Big-Fish-Little-Pond, invidious comparison, and relative deprivation theories predict that exposure to academically stronger peers decreases students’ ASC, and exposure to academically weaker peers increases students’ ASC. These propositions have not yet been tested experimentally. We executed a large and pre-registered field experiment that randomized students to deskmates within 195 classrooms of 41 schools (N = 3, 022). Our primary experimental analysis found no evidence of an effect of peer achievement on ASC in either direction. Exploratory analyses hinted at a subject-specific deskmate effect on ASC in verbal skills, and that sitting next to a lower-achieving boy increased girls’ ASC (but not that sitting next to a higher-achieving boy decreased girls’ ASC). Critically, however, none of these group-specific results held up to even modest corrections for multiple hypothesis testing. Contrary to theory, our randomized field experiment thus provides no evidence for an effect of peer achievement on students’ ASC.
    Keywords: Academic self-concept, peer effects, social comparison, Big-Fish-Little-Pond, invidious comparison, relative deprivation, randomized field experiment, deskmates, Hungary
    JEL: C93 I21 I24
    Date: 2022–12

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