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The New Zealand Performance Based Research Fund and its Impact on Publication Activity in Economics

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  • David L. Anderson

    ()
    (Queen's University)

  • John Tressler

    ()
    (University of Waikato)

Abstract

New Zealand’s academic research assessment scheme, the Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF), was launched in 2002 with the stated objective of increasing research quality in the nation’s universities. Evaluation rounds were conducted in 2003, 2006 and 2012. In this paper, we employ 22 different journal weighting schemes to generate output estimates of refereed journal paper and page production over three six year periods (1994-1999; 2000-2005 and 2006-2011). These time periods reflect a pre-PBRF environment, a mixed assessment period, and a pure PBRF research environment, respectively. Our findings indicate that, on average, research productivity, defined in either paper or page terms, has increased since the introduction of the PBRF. However, this outcome is due to a major increase in the quantity of papers and pages produced per capita that has more than off-set a decline in the quality of published outputs since the introduction of the PBRF. In other words, our findings suggest that the PBRF has failed to achieve its stated goal of increasing average research quality, but it has resulted in substantial gains in productivity achieved via large increases in the quantity of refereed journal articles.

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File URL: ftp://mngt.waikato.ac.nz/RePEc/wai/econwp/1303.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Waikato, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 13/03.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 28 Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:13/03

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Keywords: research measurement; PBRF; research quality; research assessment exercises;

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  1. Laband, David N & Piette, Michael J, 1994. "The Relative Impacts of Economics Journals: 1970-1990," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 32(2), pages 640-66, June.
  2. Pantelis Kalaitzidakis & Theofanis P. Mamuneas & Thanasis Stengos, 2011. "An updated ranking of academic journals in economics," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1525-1538, November.
  3. John Gibson, 2000. "Research productivity in New Zealand university economics departments: Comment and update," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 73-87.
  4. David L. Anderson & John Tressler, 2012. "The Relevance of the ‘h’ and ‘g’ Index to Economics in the Context of a Nation-wide Research Evaluation Scheme: The New Zealand Case," Working Papers in Economics 12/04, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  5. Liebowitz, S J & Palmer, J P, 1984. "Assessing the Relative Impacts of Economic Journals," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 77-88, March.
  6. Joseph Macri & Dipendra Sinha, 2006. "Rankings Methodology for International Comparisons of Institutions and Individuals: an Application to Economics in Australia and New Zealand," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 111-156, 02.
  7. David L. Anderson & Warren Smart & John Tressler, 2012. "Evaluating Research - Peer Review Team Assessment and Journal-Based Bibliographic Measures: New Zealand PBRF Research Output Scores in 2006," Working Papers in Economics 12/03, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  8. John Gibson & John Tressler & David L. Anderson, 2008. "Do Research Assessment Exercises Raise the Returns to Publication Quality? Evidence from the New Zealand Market for Academic Economists," Working Papers in Economics 08/11, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  9. Clive Beed & Cara Beed, 1996. "Measuring the Quality of Academic Journals: The Case of Economics," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 18(3), pages 369-396, April.
  10. Tom Coupé, 2003. "Revealed Performances: Worldwide Rankings of Economists and Economics Departments, 1990-2000," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1309-1345, December.
  11. David L. Anderson & John Tressler, 2008. "Research Output in New Zealand Economics Department 2000-2006," Working Papers in Economics 08/05, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  12. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Laurent Linnemer, 2010. "Inferring Missing Citations: A Quantitative Multi-Criteria Ranking of all Journals in Economics," Working Papers halshs-00520325, HAL.
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