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

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Author Info

  • John P. Conley

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

  • Mario J. Crucini

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

  • Robert A. Driskill

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

  • Ali Sina Onder

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)

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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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu11-w22.pdf
File Function: First version, November 2011
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 1122.

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Date of creation: Nov 2011
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:1122

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Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html

Related research

Keywords: Academia; Economists; Research Productivity; Performance Evaluation; Tenure Process; Graduate Programs; Department Rankings;

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Cited by:
  1. John P. Conley & Ali Sina Onder & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Are all High-Skilled Coherts Created Equal? Unemployment, Gender, and Research Productivity," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology 293, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
  2. John P. Conley, 2012. "Low acceptance rates, commercial publishing, and the future of scholarly communication," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages A37.
  3. Krapf, Matthias & Ursprung, Heinrich W. & Zimmermann, Christian, 2014. "Parenthood and Productivity of Highly Skilled Labor: Evidence from the Groves of Academe," IZA Discussion Papers 7904, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Libman, A., 2011. "Journals as a Selection Tool in Economics," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 12, pages 174-177.
  5. Jörg Schläpfer & Matthias Krapf, 2012. "How Nobel Laureates Would Perform in the Handelsblatt Ranking," KOF Working papers, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich 12-318, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.

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