Determinants of prosocial behaviour: Lessons from an experiment with referees at the Journal of Public Economics

Raj Chetty, Emmanuel Saez, László Sándor 11 August 2014

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Many organisations rely on prosocial behaviours – choices that benefit others but have a personal cost – to achieve their objectives. For instance, foundations rely on charitable contributions for funding, governments partly rely on voluntary compliance for tax revenue, and employers rely on voluntary referrals for hiring. Because such prosocial behaviours have positive externalities by definition, increasing such behaviour can improve welfare. What are the most effective policies to encourage prosocial behaviour?

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Topics:  Frontiers of economic research

Tags:  research, incentives, Behavioural economics, academia, journals, peer review, social pressure, intrinsic motivation

No top fives, no worries?

John Gibson 06 June 2014

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Economics is unusual among academic disciplines in the emphasis it places on publication in a narrow set of top journals:

  • For four decades at least, publishing in The American Economic Review, Econometrica, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, or Review of Economic Studies has been viewed as qualitatively different than publishing in other journals.

Many economists and economics departments view their peers as falling into those who have at least one top-five publication and those that don’t.

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Topics:  Education

Tags:  research, publications, academics, journals, top journals

US and them: The geography of academic research

Jishnu Das, Quy-Toan Do 11 February 2014

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The world has globalised massively, but Bardhan (2003) and many others worry that academic publication has not. He asserts that researchers working on countries other than the US do not get a fair deal in the top economic journals. While work by Ellison (2000) documents how publishing in economics has changed over time, it is interesting to ask, at the end of three decades of globalisation, how global journals are today and whether publications in economics have become more representative of the world over time.

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Topics:  Development Frontiers of economic research

Tags:  research, publications, journals

Our uneconomic methods of measuring economic research

Stan Liebowitz 06 December 2013

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In the movie Moneyball, a nerdy Ivy League economics major, working for a general manager played by Brad Pitt, found undervalued baseball players by applying clear-headed logic and statistical techniques.1 Many economists watching this movie probably felt a tinge of pride in seeing our tools portrayed as rigorously objective. After all, economists have long been proponents of using logic to eliminate inefficiencies and rent-seeking in the economy (e.g. Tullock 1967).

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Topics:  Education

Tags:  productivity, research, citations, academia, journals, publication

Challenging times in academia

John Hudson 11 November 2013

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The world of academia has changed over the last forty years. In those far-off days university lecturers might write a paper every few years, and this served to sustain their position and reputation. Now, every eight years or so, academics and universities in the UK are subject to an evaluation of their work. This is just one of a number of similar exercises across the world (Abramo et al. 2013). Hence, increasingly, and everywhere, the pressures are on to publish.

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Topics:  Frontiers of economic research

Tags:  economic research, publications, journals, REF

Journal quality and citations: Why economists should practice what they preach

Daniel Sgroi 11 November 2013

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The UK is about to enter into one of the most important academic ranking exercises in its history. The Research Excellence Framework (or REF), starting in 2014, will determine how money is divided between departments and how the UK perceives the quality of its own universities and departments. As part of this process, university-based research-active academics throughout the UK will soon be submitting work to the REF. There will be one panel for each discipline, each made up of a number of highly esteemed academics who will review the submissions.

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Topics:  Education

Tags:  higher education, uncertainty, academia, rankings, journals, Bayes’ rule

Nine facts about top journals in economics

David Card, Stefano DellaVigna 21 January 2013

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Publications in the top journals have a powerful influence on the direction of research in economics, on the career paths of young researchers (Conley et al. 2011), and on the pay of academic economists. To what extent has the publication process in these journals changed over the past few decades? Remarkably little comprehensive evidence exists on the topic.

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Topics:  Frontiers of economic research

Tags:  research, publications, journals

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