Rickety numbers: Volatility of university rankings and policy implications
The most popular world university rankings are routinely taken at face value by media and social actors. While these rankings are politically influential, they are sensitive to both the conceptual framework (the set of indicators) and the modelling choices made in their construction (e.g., weighting or type of aggregation). A robustness analysis, based on a multi-modelling approach, aims to test the validity of the inference about the rankings produced in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) of Shanghai Jiao Tong University and those produced by the UK's Times Higher Education Supplement (THES). Conclusions are drawn on the reliability of individual university ranks and on relative country or macro regional performance (e.g., Europe versus USA versus China) in terms of the number of top performing institutions. We find that while university and country level statistical inferences are unsound, the inference on macro regions is more robust. The paper also aims to propose an alternative ranking which is more dependant on the framework than on the methodological choices.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- André Sapir & Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Andreu Mas-Colell, 2008.
"Higher aspirations: An agenda for reforming European universities,"
ULB Institutional Repository
2013/174284, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Caroline Hoxby & Andreu Mas-Colell & André Sapir, . "Higher aspirations: an agenda for reforming European universities," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 1, Autumn.
- Jean-Charles Billaut & Denis Bouyssou & Philippe Vincke, 2009. "Should you believe in the Shanghai ranking? An MCDM view," Working Papers hal-00877050, HAL.
- Acemoglu, Daron & Aghion, Philippe & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2002.
"Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3467, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2006. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 37-74, 03.
- Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2002. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Zilibotti, Fabrizio & Aghion, Philippe & Acemoglu, Daron, 2006. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4554122, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Laurens Cherchye & Wim Moesen & Nicky Rogge & Tom Van Puyenbroeck & Michaela Saisana & A. Saltelli & R. Liska & S. Tarantola, 2006. "Creating Composite Indicators with DEA and Robustness Analysis: the case of the Technology Achievement Index," Public Economics Working Paper Series ces0613, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
- Jacobs, Bas & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2005.
"Guide to Reform of Higher Education: A European Perspective,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
5327, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Bas Jacobs & Frederick Van Der Ploeg, 2006. "Guide to reform of higher education: a European perspective," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 535-592, 07.
- Sapir, Andre & Aghion, Philippe & Bertola, Giuseppe & Hellwig, Martin & Pisani-Ferry, Jean & Rosati, Dariusz & Vinals, Jose & Wallace, Helen, 2004.
"An Agenda for a Growing Europe: The Sapir Report,"
Oxford University Press, number 9780199271498, December.
- André Sapir & Philippe Aghion & Giuseppe Bertola & Martin Hellwig & Jean Pisani-Ferry & Bernard Lange & José Viñals & Helen Wallace & Marco Buti & Mario Nava & Peter Smith, 2004. "An agenda for a growing Europe: the Sapir report," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8070, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
- Frederik Booysen, 2002. "An Overview and Evaluation of Composite Indices of Development," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 115-151, August.
- Jean-Charles Billaut & Denis Bouyssou & Philippe Vincke, 2010. "Should you believe in the Shanghai ranking?," Post-Print hal-00388319, HAL.
- Andrea Saltelli, 2007. "Composite Indicators between Analysis and Advocacy," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 81(1), pages 65-77, March.
- Giuseppe Nicoletti & Stefano Scarpetta & Olivier Boylaud, 2000. "Summary Indicators of Product Market Regulation with an Extension to Employment Protection Legislation," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 226, OECD Publishing.
- Cherchye, Laurens & Knox Lovell, C.A. & Moesen, Wim & Van Puyenbroeck, Tom, 2007.
"One market, one number? A composite indicator assessment of EU internal market dynamics,"
European Economic Review,
Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 749-779, April.
- Laurens Cherchye & Knox Lovell & Wim Moesen & Tom Van Puyenbroeck, 2005. "One Market, One Number? A Composite Indicator Assessment of EU Internal Market Dynamics," Public Economics Working Paper Series ces0513, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Working Group Public Economics.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:40:y:2011:i:1:p:165-177. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Shamier, Wendy)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.