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On the Evaluation of Economic Research: the Case of Italy

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  • Marcella Corsi
  • Carlo D'Ippoliti
  • Federico Lucidi

Abstract

The Italian case can be considered as an internationally relevant example to suggest a critical reflection on the evaluation criteria adopted in research assessment exercises, pointing at the need of clear and shared guidelines based on transparency and accountability and aiming at preserving (or even encouraging) the pluralism of ideas. Our findings support the view that if research institutions are encouraged to engage only in those lines of research that are likely to receive the highest rating according to the adopted evaluation criteria, a convergence process is to be expected within Economics, resulting in a disregard of heterodox schools and historical methods in favour of mainstream approaches and quantitative methods. In our view, a proper fine-tuning of the assessment methodology is needed, before subsequent rankings can be used as a guide for the allocation of public financing among research institutions. In the case of Economics, this means overcoming the limits of commonly adopted peer review approaches, through the development of proper evaluation designs and the integration of qualitative appraisals with quantitative indicators. In order to preserve pluralism and originality of research, we propose a simple quantitative index based on field-normalization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series DULBEA Working Papers with number 11-04.

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Length: 37 p.
Date of creation: 10 Mar 2011
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Publication status: Published by:
Handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:2013/97185

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Keywords: research evaluation; contemporary research in economics; Italy;

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  1. BAUWENS, Luc & KIRMAN, Alan & LUBRANO, Michel & PROTOPOPESCU, Camelia, . "Ranking economics departments in Europe: a statistical approach," CORE Discussion Papers RP -1694, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Bruno S. Frey & Margit Osterloh, 2006. "Evaluations: Hidden Costs, Questionable Benefits, and Superior Alternatives," CREMA Working Paper Series 2006-23, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA), revised Oct 2006.
  3. David Colander, 2010. "Can European Economics Compete with U.S. Economics? And Should It?," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 1039, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  4. Silvia Ferrini, 2007. "L’Impact Factor: luci e ombre," Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID) University of Siena 002, Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID), University of Siena.
  5. Andrew J. Oswald, 2007. "An Examination of the Reliability of Prestigious Scholarly Journals: Evidence and Implications for Decision-Makers," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(293), pages 21-31, 02.
  6. Hodgson, Geoffrey M & Rothman, Harry, 1999. "The Editors and Authors of Economics Journals: A Case of Institutional Oligopoly?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F165-86, February.
  7. Marcella Corsi & Carlo D'Ippoliti & Federico Lucidi, 2010. "Pluralism at Risk?," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(5), pages 1495-1529, November.
  8. Frederic S. Lee, 2007. "The Research Assessment Exercise, the state and the dominance of mainstream economics in British universities," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(2), pages 309-325, March.
  9. repec:rie:review:v:11:y:2006:i:3:n:5 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Kalaitzidakis, Pantelis & Mamuneas, Theofanis P. & Stengos, Thanasis, 1999. "European economics: An analysis based on publications in the core journals," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 1150-1168, April.
  11. S. Redner, 1998. "How popular is your paper? An empirical study of the citation distribution," The European Physical Journal B - Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 131-134, July.
  12. repec:rie:review:v:12:y:2007:i:2:n:9 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. 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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