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Incentives and the Effects of Publication Lags on Life Cycle Research Productivity in Economics

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  • John P. Conley
  • Mario J. Crucini
  • Robert A. Driskill
  • Ali Sina Onder

Abstract

We investigate how increases in publication delays have affected the life-cycle of publications of recent Ph.D. graduates in economics. We construct a panel dataset of 14,271 individuals who were awarded Ph.D.s between 1986 and 2000 in US and Canadian economics departments. For this population of scholars, we amass complete records of publications in peer reviewed journals listed in the JEL (a total of 368,672 observations). We find evidence of significantly diminished productivity in recent relative to earlier cohorts when productivity of an individual is measured by the number of AER equivalent publications. Diminished productivity is less evident when number of AER equivalent pages is used instead. Our findings are consistent with earlier empirical findings of increasing editorial delays, decreasing acceptance rates at journals, and a trend toward longer manuscripts. This decline in productivity is evident in both graduates of top thirty and non-top thirty ranked economics departments and may have important implications for what should constitute a tenurable record. We also find that the research rankings of the faculty do not line up with the research quality of their students in many cases.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17043.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Publication status: published as Crucini, Mario J., John Conley, Robert Driskill and Ali Sina Onder. “The Effects of Publication Lags on Life Cycle Research Productivity in Economics,” Economic Inquiry, 2012.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17043

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Cited by:
  1. Matthias Krapf & Heinrich W. Ursprung & Christian Zimmermann, 2014. "Parenthood and Productivity of Highly Skilled Labor: Evidence from the Groves of Academe," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2014-04, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  2. Jörg Schläpfer & Matthias Krapf, 2012. "How Nobel Laureates Would Perform in the Handelsblatt Ranking," KOF Working papers 12-318, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  3. John P. Conley & Ali Sina Onder & Benno Torgler, 2013. "Are all High-Skilled Cohorts Created Equal? Unemployment, Gender, and Research Productivity," QuBE Working Papers 006, QUT Business School.
  4. Libman, A., 2011. "Journals as a Selection Tool in Economics," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 12, pages 174-177.
  5. John P. Conley, 2012. "Low acceptance rates, commercial publishing, and the future of scholarly communication," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages A37.

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