Search and Research: The influence of editorial boards on journals' quality
This paper considers the search for the best papers by the editors of an academic journal. Editors' search is sequential. At each period, each editor receives one submission from a researcher and has to decide if she accepts or rejects the paper. The editorial board is heterogeneous, some editors being more demanding than others. On the academic side, researchers choose the quality level of their papers in order to maximize their utility function taking as given the composition of the editorial board. We show that three equilibria may occur. When the number of the less demanding editors is high, or if the editors exhibit great differences in their demand for quality, the journal will attract fewer submissions, publish a small number of papers and these papers will be of low quality. When the editorial board is composed by a homogeneous set of very demanding editors, the journal will publish a high number of high quality papers. For some intermediate structure of the board, a situation of multiple equilibria allows a hybrid equilibrium to exist in which the journal receives both good and bad papers. The long run and welfare implications of these equilibria are analyzed.
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