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Ranking economists on the basis of many indicators: An alternative approach using RePEc data

  • Seiler, Christian
  • Wohlrabe, Klaus

In economics the Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) network has become an essential source for the gathering and the spread of both existing and new economic research. Furthermore, it is currently the largest bibliometric database in economic sciences containing 33 different indicators for more than 30,000 economists. Based on this bibliographic information RePEc calculates well-known rankings for authors and academic institutions. We provide some cautionary remarks concerning the interpretation of some provided bibliometric measures in RePEc. Moreover, we show how individual and aggregated rankings can be biased due to the employed ranking methodology. In order to select key indicators describing and assessing research performance of scientist, we propose to apply principal component analysis in this data-rich environment. This approach allows us to assign weights to each indicator prior to aggregation. We illustrate the approach by providing a new overall ranking of economists based on RePEc data.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Informetrics.

Volume (Year): 6 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 389-402

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Handle: RePEc:eee:infome:v:6:y:2012:i:3:p:389-402
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joi

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  1. Hirsch, Barry T, et al, 1984. "Economics Departmental Rankings: Comment [Economics Departmental Rankings: Research Incentives, Constraints, and Efficiency]," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 822-26, September.
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  9. Henrekson, Magnus & Waldenström, Daniel, 2008. "How Should Research Performance Be Measured? A Study of Swedish Economists," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 693, Stockholm School of Economics.
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  16. Baltagi, Badi H., 2003. "Worldwide Institutional And Individual Rankings In Econometrics Over The Period 1989 1999: An Update," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(01), pages 165-224, February.
  17. 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.
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  22. Heinrich W. Ursprung & Markus Zimmer, 2007. "Who is the "Platz-Hirsch" of the German Economics Profession? A Citation Analysis," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 227(2), pages 187-208, April.
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