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Is It Worthwhile to Pay Referees?

Listed author(s):
  • Juin-jen Chang


    (Department of Economics, Fu-Jen Catholic University, Hsingchuang, Taipei)

  • Ching-chong Lai


    (Sun Yat-Sen Institute for Social Sciences and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, Nankang, Taipei)

There are puzzles in refereeing scholarly articles: Why are referees willing to review a paper without payment, and is it worthwhile to pay referees in order to raise the review rate? Two interesting results are found in this article. First, when reviewing services are driven by reciprocity, the equilibrium participation of referees may exhibit the so-called self-fulfilling feature. Second, the optimal payment may not be zero if the referee receives the benefit of reputation gained by refereeing an article. In particular, this article will show that those journals whose status quo review rate is lower tend to pay reviewers more while journals whose status quo review rate is higher do not find it worthwhile to pay referees enough. This result implies that, in order to raise its quality, a journal with a low review rate is more likely to adopt a strategy to increase pay and attract a critical mass of referees.

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Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 68 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 457-463

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:68:2:y:2001:p:457-463
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