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The Performance of Peer Review and a Beauty Contest of Referee Processes of Economics Journals/



    () (Department of Economics, University of Kiel, Germany)


    (Department of Economics, University of Hannover, Germany,)


    (Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Essen, Germany)


Peer review influences decisively personal advancement, research opportunities, salaries, grant-funding, promotion, and tenure. It claims to exert quality control of manuscripts and improve them, to promote innovative research, foster dissemination of new research, and to serve as a means to rank researchers, journals, and institutions. Nowadays per review mainly serves the purpose of imprinting a signal of quality on a scholar’s research. This requires a perfect performance of peer review. However, empirical research has shown that peer review lacks validity, impartiality, and fairness, which makes its claim to imprint manuscript excellence dubious. This is demonstrated in the first part of this paper which surveys peer-review research across all disciplines. In the second part of this paper, we report on an internet investigation conducted among economics authors. We found that there is a group of some eight top economics journals which fall at the bottom in most rankings. Moreover, we found that authors appreciate competence and carefulness of referee reports even more than manuscript acceptance.

Suggested Citation

  • Seidl, Christian & Schmidt, Ulrich & Grösche, Peter, 2005. "The Performance of Peer Review and a Beauty Contest of Referee Processes of Economics Journals/," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 23, pages 505-551, Diciembre.
  • Handle: RePEc:lrk:eeaart:23_3_1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Theodore C. Bergstrom, 2001. "Free Labour for Costly Journals?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 183-198, Fall.
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    3. R. Purdy, 2002. "Editorial," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 1-2, March.
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    7. 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 1041-1067, December.
    8. Dewald, William G & Thursby, Jerry G & Anderson, Richard G, 1986. "Replication in Empirical Economics: The Journal of Money, Credit and Banking Project," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 587-603, September.
    9. David N. Laband, 1990. "Is There Value-Added from the Review Process in Economics?: Preliminary Evidence from Authors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 341-352.
    10. Armstrong, J. Scott, 2003. "Discovery and communication of important marketing findings: Evidence and proposals," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 69-84, January.
    11. 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.
    12. Hodgson, Geoffrey M & Rothman, Harry, 1999. "The Editors and Authors of Economics Journals: A Case of Institutional Oligopoly?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 165-186, February.
    13. 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.
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    15. repec:cdl:ucsbec:16-01 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Wolfram Elsner, 2013. "State and future of the ‘citadel’ and of the heterodoxies in economics: challenges and dangers, convergences and cooperation," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 10(3), pages 286—298-2, December.
    2. Pitsoulis, Athanassios & Schnellenbach, Jan, 2012. "On property rights and incentives in academic publishing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1440-1447.

    More about this item


    Peer Review; Referee Processes; Publishing; Economics Journals.;

    JEL classification:

    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists


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