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Evolving Standards for Academic Publishing: A q-r Theory

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  • Glenn Ellison

Abstract

This paper develops models of quality standards to examine two trends: academic journals increasingly require extensive revisions of submissions, and articles are becoming longer and changing in other ways. Papers are modeled as varying along two quality dimensions: q reflects the importance of the main ideas and r other aspects of quality. Observed trends are regarded as increases in r-quality. A static equilibrium model illustrates comparative statics explanations. A dynamic model in which referees (with a biased view of their own work) learn social norms for weighting q and r is shown to produce a long, gradual evolution of social norms.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:110:y:2002:i:5:p:994-1034
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Pesendorfer, Wolfgang, 1995. "Design Innovation and Fashion Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 771-792, September.
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    4. Ellison, Glenn & Fudenberg, Drew, 2000. "Learning Purified Mixed Equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 84-115, January.
    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. Sen, Amartya Kumar, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Scholarly Articles 3612779, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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    8. Sobel, Joel, 2000. "A Model of Declining Standards," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(2), pages 295-303, May.
    9. Michael Spence, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-374.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General

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