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Evaluation of Researchers: A Life Cycle Analysis of German Academic Economists

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  • Michael Rauber
  • Heinrich Ursprung

Abstract

In this paper we ague that any meaningful bibliometric evaluation of researchers needs to take into account that research productivity follows distinct life cycles. Using an encompassing data set portraying the research behavior of German academic economists, we first show that research productivity crucially depends on career age and vintage. Based on the identified effects, we develop a simple formula that shows how a researcher’s performance compares to that of his or her peers. This kind of information may serve as an input for performance-related remuneration and track-record based allocation of research grants. We then go on to investigate the persistence of individual productivity. The Persistence issue is of special importance in the academic labor market because of the irrevocable nature of tenure. Finally, we show how life cycle considerations can be used in evaluations of university departments in order to render the resulting rankings insensitive to the age structure of the evaluated faculties.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Rauber & Heinrich Ursprung, 2006. "Evaluation of Researchers: A Life Cycle Analysis of German Academic Economists," CESifo Working Paper Series 1673, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1673
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp1673.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Levin, Sharon G & Stephan, Paula E, 1991. "Research Productivity over the Life Cycle: Evidence for Academic Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 114-132, March.
    2. Michael Rauber & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 2008. "Life Cycle and Cohort Productivity in Economic Research: The Case of Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 431-456, November.
    3. Bronwyn Hall & Jacques Mairesse & Laure Turner, 2007. "Identifying Age, Cohort, And Period Effects In Scientific Research Productivity: Discussion And Illustration Using Simulated And Actual Data On French Physicists," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(2), pages 159-177.
    4. Tom Coupé & Valérie Smeets & Frédéric Warzynski, 2006. "Incentives, Sorting and Productivity along the Career: Evidence from a Sample of Top Economists," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(1), pages 137-167, April.
    5. Pantelis Kalaitzidakis & Theofanis P. Mamuneas & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions in Economics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1346-1366, December.
    6. Frank, Bjorn & Schulze, Gunther G., 2000. "Does economics make citizens corrupt?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 101-113, September.
    7. Bell, John G & Seater, John J, 1978. "Publishing Performance: Departmental and Individual," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 16(4), pages 599-615, October.
    8. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Laurent Linnemer, 2003. "Where are the Economists Who Publish? Publication Concentration and Rankings in Europe Based on Cumulative Publications," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1250-1308, December.
    9. Moore, William J & Newman, Robert J & Turnbull, Geoffrey K, 2001. "Reputational Capital and Academic Pay," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(4), pages 663-671, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Oliver Fabel & Miriam Hein & Robert Hofmeister, 2008. "Research Productivity in Business Economics: An Investigation of Austrian, German and Swiss Universities," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 506-531, November.
    2. Jörg Heining & Jürgen Jerger & Jörg Lingens, 2008. "Deutsche Hochschulkarrieren im Fach Volkswirtschaftslehre. Eine deskriptive Analyse von Lebenslaufdaten," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(3), pages 306-328, August.
    3. Ioana Alexandra Horodnic & Adriana Zaiţ, 2015. "Motivation and research productivity in a university system undergoing transition," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(3), pages 282-292.
    4. Günther G. Schulze & Susanne Warning & Christian Wiermann, 2008. "Zeitschriftenrankings für die Wirtschaftswissenschaften - Konstruktion eines umfassenden Metaindexes," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(3), pages 286-305, August.
    5. Ioana Alexandra HORODNIC, 2014. "Academic Performance: Measurement Methods Used In Socio - Economic Sciences," THE YEARBOOK OF THE “GH. ZANE” INSTITUTE OF ECONOMIC RESEARCHES, Gheorghe Zane Institute for Economic and Social Research ( from THE ROMANIAN ACADEMY, JASSY BRANCH), vol. 23(1), pages 5-17.
    6. Günther G. Schulze & Susanne Warning & Christian Wiermann, 2008. "What and How Long Does It Take to Get Tenure? The Case of Economics and Business Administration in Austria, Germany and Switzerland," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 473-505, November.
    7. Heining, Jörg & Jerger, Jürgen & Lingens, Jörg, 2007. "Success in the Academic Labour Market for Economics - The German Experience," University of Regensburg Working Papers in Business, Economics and Management Information Systems 422, University of Regensburg, Department of Economics.
    8. repec:jns:jbstat:v:227:y:2007:i:2:p:187-208 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Michael Graber & Andrey Launov & Klaus Wälde, 2008. "Publish or Perish? The Increasing Importance of Publications for Prospective Economics Professors in Austria, Germany and Switzerland," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 457-472, November.
    10. Michael Rauber & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 2008. "Life Cycle and Cohort Productivity in Economic Research: The Case of Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 431-456, November.
    11. Matthias Krapf, 2010. "Research evaluation and journal quality weights: Much ado about nothing?," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2010-02, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    12. repec:spr:scient:v:104:y:2015:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-015-1625-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Lenger Alexander & Goldschmidt Nils, 2011. "Ordnungsökonomik als angewandte Wissenschaft. Zur notwendigen Zusammenführung von Theorie und Praxis / Constitutional Economics as an Applied Social Science. About the Essential Combination of Theory ," ORDO. Jahrbuch für die Ordnung von Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, De Gruyter, vol. 62(1), pages 343-364, January.
    14. Robert Hofmeister & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 2008. "Das Handelsblatt Ökonomen-Ranking 2007: Eine kritische Beurteilung," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(3), pages 254-266, August.
    15. Thomas Bolli & Jörg Schläpfer, 2015. "Job mobility, peer effects, and research productivity in economics," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 104(3), pages 629-650, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    research productivity; performance evaluation; life cycles; rankings;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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