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Are leading papers of better quality? Evidence from a natural experiment

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  • COUPE, Tom
  • GINSBURGH, Victor
  • NOURY, Abdul

Abstract

Leading papers in a journal’s issue attract, on average, more citations than those that follow. It is, however, difficult to assess whether they are of better quality (as is often suggested), or whether this happens just because they appear first in an issue. We make use of a natural experiment that was carried out by a journal in which papers are randomly ordered in some issues, while this order is not random in others. We show that leading papers in randomly ordered issues also attract more citations, which casts some doubt on whether, in general, leading papers are of higher quality.
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  • COUPE, Tom & GINSBURGH, Victor & NOURY, Abdul, 2010. "Are leading papers of better quality? Evidence from a natural experiment," LIDAM Reprints CORE 2221, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:2221
    DOI: 10.1093/oep/gpp019
    Note: In : Oxford Economic Papers, 62(1), 1-11, 2010
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    1. Lead papers are not particularly better
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2009-03-09 17:21:00

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    Cited by:

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    6. Ho Fai Chan & Bruno S. Frey & Jana Gallus & Benno Torgler, 2013. "Does the John Bates Clark Medal boost subsequent productivity and citation success?," ECON - Working Papers 111, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
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    8. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2018. "Citations in Economics: Measurement, Uses, and Impacts," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(1), pages 115-156, March.
    9. Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Can We Test for Bias in Scientific Peer-Review?," IZA Discussion Papers 3665, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    11. Georg, Co-Pierre & Opolot, Daniel & Rose, Michael, 2019. "Discussants," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203575, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    12. Harris, Mark N. & Novarese, Marco & Wilson, Chris M., 2022. "Being in the right place: A natural field experiment on the causes of position effects in individual choice," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 194(C), pages 24-40.
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    15. Maria Rosaria Carillo & Erasmo Papagni & Alessandro Sapio, 2012. "Do collaborations enhance the high-quality output of scientific institutions? Evidence from the Italian Research Assessment Exercise (2001-2003)," Discussion Papers 4_2012, CRISEI, University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
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