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An auction market for journal articles

  • Jens Prüfer
  • David Zetland


Economic articles are published very slowly. We believe this results from the poor incentives referees face. We recommend that an auction market replace the current, push system for submitting papers and demonstrate that our proposed market has a stable, Pareto-improving equilibrium. Besides the benefits of speed, this pull mechanism increases the quality of articles and journals and rewards referees for their effort. Although the auction price gives a prior on a paper's future value, its actual value|as a published article|depends on later citations. Since the auction price of later papers goes to the editors, authors and referees of earlier, cited articles, "auction earnings" give a direct measure of the value of articles, journals (the sum of articles) and academics - as authors, editors and reviewers - rewarding good writing, decisions and effort, respectively.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 145 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 379-403

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:145:y:2010:i:3:p:379-403
DOI: 10.1007/s11127-009-9571-3
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  1. Besley, Timothy J. & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2004. "Competition and Incentives with Motivated Agents," CEPR Discussion Papers 4641, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Paul Klemperer, 1999. "Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Microeconomics 9903002, EconWPA.
  3. Alvin E. Roth & Axel Ockenfels, 2002. "Last-Minute Bidding and the Rules for Ending Second-Price Auctions: Evidence from eBay and Amazon Auctions on the Internet," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1093-1103, September.
  4. Glenn Ellison, 2007. "Is Peer Review in Decline?," NBER Working Papers 13272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Glenn Ellison, 2002. "The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 947-993, October.
  6. Jean-Pierre Benoît & Vijay Krishna, 2001. "Multiple-Object Auctions with Budget Constrained Bidders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(1), pages 155-179.
  7. Oster, Sharon, 1980. "The Optimal Order for Submitting Manuscripts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 444-48, June.
  8. Milgrom, Paul, 1989. "Auctions and Bidding: A Primer," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  9. Blank, Rebecca M, 1991. "The Effects of Double-Blind versus Single-Blind Reviewing: Experimental Evidence from The American Economic Review," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1041-67, December.
  10. JS Armstrong, 2004. "Peer Review for Journals: Evidence on Quality Control, Fairness, and Innovation," General Economics and Teaching 0412027, EconWPA.
  11. Oswald, Andrew J., 2006. "An Examination of the Reliability of Prestigious Scholarly Journals: Evidence and Implications for Decision-makers," IZA Discussion Papers 2070, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 2001. "Free Labour for Costly Journals?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 183-198, Fall.
  13. Professor Paul Klemperer, 2000. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Microeconomics 0004008, EconWPA.
  14. Daniel B. Klein & Eric Chiang, 2004. "The Social Science Citation Index: A Black Box—with an Ideological Bias?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(1), pages 134-165, April.
  15. Glenn Ellison, 2002. "Evolving Standards for Academic Publishing: A q-r Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 994-1034, October.
  16. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1994. "Facts and Myths about Refereeing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 153-163, Winter.
  17. Hal R. Varian, 1997. "The AEA's Electronic Publishing Plans: A Progress Report," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 95-104, Summer.
  18. repec:cdl:ucsbec:16-01 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Terry Plum & David Colander, 2004. "Efficiency, Journal Publishing and Scholarly Research - A Discussion Paper," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0414, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.
  20. Mailath, George J. & Samuelson, Larry, 2006. "Repeated Games and Reputations: Long-Run Relationships," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195300796, December.
  21. Milgrom, Paul R, 1981. "Rational Expectations, Information Acquisition, and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 921-43, June.
  22. Joshua S. Gans & George B. Shepherd, 1994. "How Are the Mighty Fallen: Rejected Classic Articles by Leading Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 165-179, Winter.
  23. Yeon-Koo Che & Ian Gale, 1998. "Standard Auctions with Financially Constrained Bidders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-21.
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