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On the Evaluation of Economic Research: the Case of Italy

Author

Listed:
  • Marcella Corsi
  • Carlo D'Ippoliti
  • Federico Lucidi

Abstract

The Italian case can be considered as an internationally relevant example to suggest a critical reflection on the evaluation criteria adopted in research assessment exercises, pointing at the need of clear and shared guidelines based on transparency and accountability and aiming at preserving (or even encouraging) the pluralism of ideas. Our findings support the view that if research institutions are encouraged to engage only in those lines of research that are likely to receive the highest rating according to the adopted evaluation criteria, a convergence process is to be expected within Economics, resulting in a disregard of heterodox schools and historical methods in favour of mainstream approaches and quantitative methods. In our view, a proper fine-tuning of the assessment methodology is needed, before subsequent rankings can be used as a guide for the allocation of public financing among research institutions. In the case of Economics, this means overcoming the limits of commonly adopted peer review approaches, through the development of proper evaluation designs and the integration of qualitative appraisals with quantitative indicators. In order to preserve pluralism and originality of research, we propose a simple quantitative index based on field-normalization.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcella Corsi & Carlo D'Ippoliti & Federico Lucidi, 2011. "On the Evaluation of Economic Research: the Case of Italy," DULBEA Working Papers 11-04, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:dul:wpaper:2013/97185
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Frederic S. Lee, 2007. "The Research Assessment Exercise, the state and the dominance of mainstream economics in British universities," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(2), pages 309-325, March.
    3. Andrew J. Oswald, 2007. "An Examination of the Reliability of Prestigious Scholarly Journals: Evidence and Implications for Decision-Makers," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(293), pages 21-31, February.
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    5. Michel Lubrano & Luc Bauwens & Alan Kirman & Camelia Protopopescu, 2003. "Ranking Economics Departments in Europe: A Statistical Approach," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1367-1401, December.
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    7. Luigi Pasinetti & Alessandro Roncaglia, 2006. "Le scienze umane in Italia: il caso dell'economia politica," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 463-463.
    8. Kalaitzidakis, Pantelis & Mamuneas, Theofanis P. & Stengos, Thanasis, 1999. "European economics: An analysis based on publications in the core journals," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 1150-1168, April.
    9. Marcella Corsi & Carlo D'Ippoliti & Federico Lucidi, 2010. "Pluralism at Risk?," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(5), pages 1495-1529, November.
    10. 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.
    11. Silvia Ferrini, 2007. "L’Impact Factor: luci e ombre," Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID) University of Siena 002, Department of Economic Policy, Finance and Development (DEPFID), University of Siena.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:scient:v:96:y:2013:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-013-0951-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:psl:moneta:2017:44 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Anania, Giovanni & Caruso, Annarosa, 2012. "Two New Simple Bibliometric Indexes to Better Evaluate Research in Economics," Congress Papers 124116, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
    4. repec:spr:italej:v:3:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s40797-016-0042-y is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    research evaluation; contemporary research in economics; Italy;

    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
    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • B50 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - General

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