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World-Leading Research and its Measurement

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  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

Journalists and others have asked me whether the favourable RAE 2008 results for UK economics are believable. This is a fair question. It also opens up a broader and more important one: how can we design a bibliometric method to assess the quality (rather than merely quantity) of a nation’s science? To try to address this, I examine objective data on the world’s most influential economics articles. I find that the United Kingdom performed reasonably well over the 2001-2008 period. Of 450 genuinely world-leading journal articles, the UK produced 10% of them -- and was the source of the most-cited article in each of the Journal of Econometrics, the International Economic Review, the Journal of Public Economics, and the Rand Journal of Economics, and of the second most-cited article in the Journal of Health Economics. Interestingly, more than a quarter of these world-leading UK articles came from outside the best-known half-dozen departments. Thus the modern emphasis on ‘top’ departments and the idea that funding should be concentrated in a few places may be mistaken. Pluralism may help to foster iconoclastic ideas.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 887.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:887

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Keywords: Science ; evaluation ; peer-review ; citations ; research assessment exercise.;

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References

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  1. Machin, Stephen & Oswald, Andrew, 2000. "UK Economics and the Future Supply of Academic Economists," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(464), pages F334-49, June.
  2. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  3. J. Peter Neary & James A. Mirrlees & Jean Tirole, 2003. "Evaluating Economics Research in Europe: An Introduction," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1239-1249, December.
  4. Ana Rute Cardoso & Paulo Guimarães & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2008. "Comparing the Early Research Performance of PhD Graduates in Labor Economics in Europe and the USA," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 850, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Amanda H Goodall, 2005. "Should Research Universities be Led by Top Researchers? Part 1: Are they?," HEW, EconWPA 0506003, EconWPA.
  6. DREZE, Jacques H; & ESTEVAN, Fernanda, . "Research and higher education in economics: can we deliver the Lisbon objectives," CORE Discussion Papers RP, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) -1941, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. Oswald, Andrew J., 2006. "An Examination of the Reliability of Prestigious Scholarly Journals: Evidence and Implications for Decision-makers," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS), University of Warwick, Department of Economics 744, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. Brazier, John & Roberts, Jennifer & Deverill, Mark, 2002. "The estimation of a preference-based measure of health from the SF-36," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 271-292, March.
  9. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Peter Schmidt, 2003. "The Determinants of Econometric Society Fellows Elections," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 399-407, January.
  10. Frey, Bruno S, 2003. " Publishing as Prostitution?--Choosing between One's Own Ideas and Academic Success," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 116(1-2), pages 205-23, July.
  11. Glenn Ellison, 2011. "Is Peer Review In Decline?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(3), pages 635-657, 07.
  12. Scott Smart & Joel Waldfogel, 1996. "A Citation-Based Test for Discrimination at Economics and Finance Journals," NBER Working Papers 5460, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Bruno S. Frey, 2009. "Economists in the PITS?," CREMA Working Paper Series, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) 2009-29, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  2. Rosalind S Hunter, 2009. "The Elite Brain Drain," Working Papers id:2048, eSocialSciences.
  3. RosalindS. Hunter & Andrew J. Oswald & Bruce G. Charlton, 2009. "The Elite Brain Drain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(538), pages F231-F251, 06.

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