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Pluralism at Risk?

Author

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  • Marcella Corsi
  • Carlo D'Ippoliti
  • Federico Lucidi

Abstract

We analyze Italy's recent research evaluation exercise (VTR) as a salient example in discussing some internationally relevant issues emerging from the evaluation of research in economics. We claim that evaluation and its criteria, together with its linkage to research institutions' financing, are likely to affect the direction of research in a problematic way. As the Italian case documents, it is specifically economists who adopt unorthodox paradigms or pursue less diffused topics of research that should be concerned about research evaluation and its criteria. After outlining the recent practice of economic research in Italy and highlighting the relevant scope for pluralism that traditionally characterizes it, we analyze the publications submitted for evaluation to the VTR. By comparing these publications to all the entries in the EconLit database authored by economists located in Italy, we find a risk that the adopted ranking criteria may lead to disregarding historical methods in favor of quantitative and econometric methods, and heterodox schools in favor of mainstream approaches. Finally, by summarizing the current debate in Italy, we claim that evaluation should not be refused by heterodox economists, but rather that a reflection on the criteria of evaluation should be put forward at an international level in order to establish fair competition among research paradigms, thus, preserving pluralism in the discipline. Copyright © 2010 American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Inc..

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajecsc:v:69:y:2010:i:5:p:1495-1529
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Halkos, George & Tzeremes, Nickolaos, 2012. "Ranking the ‘Diamond Core’ economic journals: A note," MPRA Paper 36589, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Marcella Corsi & Carlo D'Ippoliti & Federico Lucidi, 2011. "On the Evaluation of Economic Research: The Case of Italy," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 369-402.
    3. Hicks, Diana, 2012. "Performance-based university research funding systems," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 251-261.
    4. Jakob Kapeller & Matthias Aistleitner & Stefan Steinerberger, 2017. "Citation Patterns in Economics and Beyond: Assessing the Peculiarities of Economics from Two Scientometric Perspectives," ICAE Working Papers 60, Johannes Kepler University, Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy.
    5. repec:spr:scient:v:96:y:2013:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-013-0951-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Zacchia, Giulia, 2016. "Segregation or homologation? Gender differences in recent Italian economic thought," MPRA Paper 72279, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. repec:spr:scient:v:101:y:2014:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-013-1218-y is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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).
    9. Marcella Corsi & Giulia Zacchia, 2014. "Women Economists in Italy: A Bibliometric Analysis of their Scientific Production in the Past Decade," Working Papers CEB 14-008, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    10. repec:spr:scient:v:95:y:2013:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-012-0908-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:spr:italej:v:3:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s40797-016-0042-y is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Rafols, Ismael & Leydesdorff, Loet & O’Hare, Alice & Nightingale, Paul & Stirling, Andy, 2012. "How journal rankings can suppress interdisciplinary research: A comparison between Innovation Studies and Business & Management," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1262-1282.

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