nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2023‒09‒11
four papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström, Axventure AB

  1. Unpacking P-Hacking and Publication Bias By Brodeur, Abel; Carrell, Scott; Figlio, David; Lusher, Lester
  2. Inter-city Academic Consortium: Structural Analysis By Liu, Kaiola
  3. The Politics of Academic Research By Ringgenberg, Matthew C.; Shu, Chong; Werner, Ingrid M.
  4. Serendipity in Science By Pyung Nahm; Raviv Murciano-Goroff; Michael Park; Russell J. Funk

  1. By: Brodeur, Abel; Carrell, Scott; Figlio, David; Lusher, Lester
    Abstract: We use unique data from journal submissions to identify and unpack publication bias and p-hacking. We find that initial submissions display significant bunching, suggesting the distribution among published statistics cannot be fully attributed to a publication bias in peer review. Desk-rejected manuscripts display greater heaping than those sent for review i.e. marginally significant results are more likely to be desk rejected. Reviewer recommendations, in contrast, are positively associated with statistical significance. Overall, the peer review process has little effect on the distribution of test statistics. Lastly, we track rejected papers and present evidence that the prevalence of publication biases is perhaps not as prominent as feared.
    Keywords: publication bias, p-hacking, selective reporting
    JEL: A11 C13 C40
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Liu, Kaiola
    Abstract: N/A
    Keywords: Economics
    JEL: A1 A10 A11 A12 A13 A14 A19 Z1
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Ringgenberg, Matthew C. (U of Utah); Shu, Chong (U of Utah); Werner, Ingrid M. (Ohio State U)
    Abstract: We develop a novel measure of political slant in research to examine whether political ideology influences the content and use of academic research. Our measure examines the frequency of citations from think tanks with different political ideologies and allows us to examine both the supply and demand for research. We find that research in Economics and Political Science displays a liberal slant, while Finance and Accounting research exhibits a conservative slant, and these differences cannot be accounted for by variations in research topics. We also find that the ideological slant of researchers is positively correlated with that of their Ph.D. institution and research conducted outside universities appears to cater more to the political party of the current President. Finally, political donations data confirms that the ideological slant we measure based on think tank citations aligns with the political values of researchers. Our findings have important implications for the structure of research funding.
    JEL: G12 G14
    Date: 2023–05
  4. By: Pyung Nahm (Joe); Raviv Murciano-Goroff; Michael Park; Russell J. Funk
    Abstract: Serendipity plays an important role in scientific discovery. Indeed, many of the most important breakthroughs, ranging from penicillin to the electric battery, have been made by scientists who were stimulated by a chance exposure to unsought but useful information. However, not all scientists are equally likely to benefit from such serendipitous exposure. Although scholars generally agree that scientists with a prepared mind are most likely to benefit from serendipitous encounters, there is much less consensus over what precisely constitutes a prepared mind, with some research suggesting the importance of openness and others emphasizing the need for deep prior experience in a particular domain. In this paper, we empirically investigate the role of serendipity in science by leveraging a policy change that exogenously shifted the shelving location of journals in university libraries and subsequently exposed scientists to unsought scientific information. Using large-scale data on 2.4 million papers published in 9, 750 journals by 520, 000 scientists at 115 North American research universities, we find that scientists with greater openness are more likely to benefit from serendipitous encounters. Following the policy change, these scientists tended to cite less familiar and newer work, and ultimately published papers that were more innovative. By contrast, we find little effect on innovativeness for scientists with greater depth of experience, who, in our sample, tended to cite more familiar and older work following the policy change.
    Date: 2023–08

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