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Pluralism at Risk?

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  • Marcella Corsi
  • Carlo D'Ippoliti
  • Federico Lucidi

Abstract

We analyze Italy's recent research evaluation exercise (VTR) as a salient example in discussing some internationally relevant issues emerging from the evaluation of research in economics. We claim that evaluation and its criteria, together with its linkage to research institutions' financing, are likely to affect the direction of research in a problematic way. As the Italian case documents, it is specifically economists who adopt unorthodox paradigms or pursue less diffused topics of research that should be concerned about research evaluation and its criteria. After outlining the recent practice of economic research in Italy and highlighting the relevant scope for pluralism that traditionally characterizes it, we analyze the publications submitted for evaluation to the VTR. By comparing these publications to all the entries in the EconLit database authored by economists located in Italy, we find a risk that the adopted ranking criteria may lead to disregarding historical methods in favor of quantitative and econometric methods, and heterodox schools in favor of mainstream approaches. Finally, by summarizing the current debate in Italy, we claim that evaluation should not be refused by heterodox economists, but rather that a reflection on the criteria of evaluation should be put forward at an international level in order to establish fair competition among research paradigms, thus, preserving pluralism in the discipline. Copyright � 2010 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal American Journal of Economics and Sociology.

Volume (Year): 69 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (November)
Pages: 1495-1529

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:69:y:2010:i:5:p:1495-1529

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Cited by:
  1. Halkos, George & Tzeremes, Nickolaos, 2012. "Ranking socio-demographic journals," MPRA Paper 36803, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Corsi Marcella & D'Ippoliti Carlo & Lucidi Federico, 2011. "On the Evaluation of Economic Research: The Case of Italy," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 369-402.
  3. Ismael Rafols & Loet Leydesdorff & Alice O'Hare & Paul Nightingale & Andy Stirling, 2011. "How Journal Rankings can suppress Interdisciplinary Research – A Comparison between Innovation Studies and Business & Management," DRUID Working Papers 11-05, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  4. Anania, Giovanni & Caruso, Annarosa, 2012. "Two New Simple Bibliometric Indexes to Better Evaluate Research in Economics," Congress Papers 124116, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).

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