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Lower-rated publications do lower academics’ judgments of publication lists: Evidence from a survey experiment of economists


  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh
  • Riyanto, Yohanes E.
  • Knetsch, Jack L.


Publications in leading journals are widely known to have a positive impact on economists’ judgments of the value of authors’ contributions and professional reputations. While conjectures that publications in lower-rated journals likely have a negative impact on such judgments are common, there have been virtually no direct tests of their validity. Our intent is to provide results from such a test, one that involved asking economists from 44 universities throughout the world to rate either a publication list with only higher-rated journals or a list with all of these but with additional publications in lower-rated journals. Our primary finding was that, holding other things constant, adding publications in lower-rated journals to what is typically considered a good publication record does have a significant negative impact on economists’ judgments of the value of the author’s contribution. Most implications of this bias suggest negative impacts on social welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh & Riyanto, Yohanes E. & Knetsch, Jack L., 2018. "Lower-rated publications do lower academics’ judgments of publication lists: Evidence from a survey experiment of economists," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 33-44.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:66:y:2018:i:c:p:33-44
    DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2018.04.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hasan, Syed & Breunig, Robert, 2020. "Article Length and Citation Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 13045, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item


    Lower ranked journals; Publication; Judgment bias; Less-is-better effect;

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics


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