IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hka/wpaper/2018-070.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Publishing and Promotion in Economics: The Tyranny of the Top Five

Author

Listed:
  • James J. Heckman

    (The University of Chicago)

  • Sidharth Moktan

    (Center for the Economics of Human Development, University of Chicago)

Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between placement of publications in Top Five (T5) journals and receipt of tenure in academic economics departments. Analyzing the job histories of tenure-track economists hired by the top 35 U.S. economics departments, we find that T5 publications have a powerful influence on tenure decisions and rates of transition to tenure. A survey of the perceptions of young economists supports the formal statistical analysis. Pursuit of T5 publications has become the obsession of the next generation of economists. However, the T5 screen is far from reliable. A substantial share of influential publications appear in non-T5 outlets. Reliance on the T5 to screen talent incentivizes careerism over creativity.

Suggested Citation

  • James J. Heckman & Sidharth Moktan, 2018. "Publishing and Promotion in Economics: The Tyranny of the Top Five," Working Papers 2018-070, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2018-070
    Note: ECI
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Heckman_Moktan_2018_publishing-promotion-economics-top-5.pdf
    File Function: First version, September 26, 2018
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Heckman_Moktan_appendixWT_2018-09-14a_sm.pdf
    File Function: Text Appendix
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Heckman_Moktan_appendix_2018-09-17a_sjs.pdf
    File Function: Online Appendix
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Heckman_Moktan_2018_publishing-promotion-economics-top-5_r1.pdf
    File Function: Second version, March 19, 2019
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Heckman_Mokan_2018_curse_appendixWT__2019-03-18a_sjs.pdf
    File Function: Text Appendix, Revised
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Heckman_Moktan_2018_curse_appendix_2019-03-18a_sm.pdf
    File Function: Online Appendix, Revised
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gustavo Manso, 2011. "Motivating Innovation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(5), pages 1823-1860, October.
    2. Kodrzycki Yolanda K. & Yu Pingkang, 2006. "New Approaches to Ranking Economics Journals," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-44, August.
    3. Dimitris Bertsimas & Erik Brynjolfsson & Shachar Reichman & John Silberholz, 2015. "OR Forum—Tenure Analytics: Models for Predicting Research Impact," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 63(6), pages 1246-1261, December.
    4. Jakob Kapeller & Matthias Aistleitner & Stefan Steinerberger, 2017. "Citation Patterns in Economics and Beyond: Assessing the Peculiarities of Economics from Two Scientometric Perspectives," ICAE Working Papers 60, Johannes Kepler University, Institute for Comprehensive Analysis of the Economy.
    5. Josh Angrist & Pierre Azoulay & Glenn Ellison & Ryan Hill & Susan Feng Lu, 2020. "Inside Job or Deep Impact? Extramural Citations and the Influence of Economic Scholarship," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 58(1), pages 3-52, March.
    6. Pierre Azoulay & Joshua S. Graff Zivin & Gustavo Manso, 2011. "Incentives and creativity: evidence from the academic life sciences," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 42(3), pages 527-554, September.
    7. Glenn Ellison, 2011. "Is Peer Review In Decline?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(3), pages 635-657, July.
    8. Kalaitzidakis, P. & Mamuneas, T.P. & Stengos, T., 2003. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions," Working Papers 2003-8, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    9. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
    10. Kahn, Shulamit, 1993. "Gender Differences in Academic Career Paths of Economists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 52-56, May.
    11. M. Fourcade & E. Ollion & Y. Algan., 2015. "The Superiority of Economists," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 7.
    12. Marion Fourcade & Etienne Ollion & Yann Algan, 2015. "La superioridad de los economistas," Revista de Economía Institucional, Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Economía, vol. 17(33), pages 13-43, July-Dece.
    13. Tommaso Colussi, 2018. "Social Ties in Academia: A Friend Is a Treasure," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 45-50, March.
    14. 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.
    15. Heather Antecol & Kelly Bedard & Jenna Stearns, 2018. "Equal but Inequitable: Who Benefits from Gender-Neutral Tenure Clock Stopping Policies?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(9), pages 2420-2441, September.
    16. Amanda Bayer & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2016. "Diversity in the Economics Profession: A New Attack on an Old Problem," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 221-242, Fall.
    17. Motty Perry & Philip J. Reny, 2016. "How to Count Citations If You Must," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(9), pages 2722-2741, September.
    18. Hadavand, Aboozar & Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Wilson, Wesley W., 2019. "Is Scholarly Refereeing Productive (at the Margin)?," IZA Discussion Papers 12866, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Kostas Axarloglou & Vasilis Theoharakis, 2003. "Diversity in Economics: An Analysis of Journal Quality Perceptions," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1402-1423, December.
    20. Donna K. Ginther & Shulamit Kahn, 2004. "Women in Economics: Moving Up or Falling Off the Academic Career Ladder?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 193-214, Summer.
    21. 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.
    22. 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.
    23. John Gibson & David L. Anderson & John Tressler, 2014. "Which Journal Rankings Best Explain Academic Salaries? Evidence From The University Of California," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(4), pages 1322-1340, October.
    24. David Card & Stefano DellaVigna, 2013. "Nine Facts about Top Journals in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(1), pages 144-161, March.
    25. Heather Sarsons, 2017. "Recognition for Group Work: Gender Differences in Academia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 141-145, May.
    26. Gaines Liner & Ellen Sewell, 2009. "Research requirements for promotion and tenure at PhD granting departments of economics," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(8), pages 765-768.
    27. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Laurent Linnemer, 2010. "Inferring Missing Citations: A Quantitative Multi-Criteria Ranking of all Journals in Economics," Working Papers halshs-00520325, HAL.
    28. Lorenzo Ductor & Sanjeev Goyal & Anja Prummer, 2018. "Gender & Collaboration," Working Papers 856, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    29. Laband, David N & Piette, Michael J, 1994. "Favoritism versus Search for Good Papers: Empirical Evidence Regarding the Behavior of Journal Editors," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 194-203, February.
    30. David Card & Stefano DellaVigna, 2020. "What Do Editors Maximize? Evidence from Four Economics Journals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 195-217, March.
    31. Brogaard, Jonathan & Engelberg, Joseph & Parsons, Christopher A., 2014. "Networks and productivity: Causal evidence from editor rotations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 251-270.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jishnu Das & Quy-Toan Do, 2020. "US and them - The geography of academic research," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 111-114, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    2. Joshua Aizenman & Kenneth Kletzer, 2020. "Networking, citations of academic research, and premature death," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 51-55, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    3. Stan Liebowitz, 2020. "Our uneconomic methods of measuring economic research," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 99-104, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    4. John O’Hagan & Lukas Kuld, 2020. "Multi-authored journal articles in economics - Why the spiralling upward trend?," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 93-98, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    5. Galiani, Sebastian & Panizza, Ugo (ed.), 2020. "Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics," Vox eBooks, Centre for Economic Policy Research, number p332, July.
    6. Nattavudh Powdthavee & Yohanes E. Riyanto & Jack L. Knetsch, 2020. "Impact of lower-rated journals on economists’ judgements of publication lists," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 17-22, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    7. Raphael Auer & Christian Zimmermann, 2020. "A journal ranking based on central bank citations," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 57-63, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    8. Tommaso Colussi, 2020. "The role of connections in the economics publishing process," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 105-110, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    9. Daniel Hamermesh, 2020. "Measuring success in economics," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 11-15, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    10. Raj Chetty & Emmanuel Saez & László Sándor, 2020. "Determinants of prosocial behaviour - Lessons from an experiment with referees at the Journal of Public Economics," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 83-90, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    11. Koffi, Marlene, 2021. "Innovative ideas and gender inequality," CLEF Working Paper Series 35, Canadian Labour Economics Forum (CLEF), University of Waterloo.
    12. María Victoria Anauati & Sebastian Galiani & Ramiro H. Gálvez, 2020. "Differences in citation ageing patterns across economics research articles are as sharp as those observed across fields of study," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 45-50, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    13. John P. Conley & Mario J. Crucini & Robert A. Driskill & Ali Sina Önder, 2020. "Publication lags and the research output of young economists," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 67-72, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    14. Sebastian Galiani & Ugo Panizza, 2020. "Introduction," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 1-7, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    15. Ugo Panizza, 2020. "Suggestions for further reading," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 159-165, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    16. María Victoria Anauati & Sebastian Galiani & Ramiro H. Gálvez, 2020. "How different are citation patterns across journal tiers in economics?," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 35-43, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    17. John Cochrane, 2020. "Covid and economics publishing," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 143-145, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    18. Charles Wyplosz, 2020. "Covid Economics - A new kind of publication," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 147-157, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    19. Noriko Amano-Patiño & Elisa Faraglia & Chryssi Giannitsarou & Zeina Hasna, 2020. "Who is doing new research in the time of COVID-19? Not the female economists," Vox eBook Chapters, in: Sebastian Galliani & Ugo Panizza (ed.), Publishing and Measuring Success in Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 1, pages 137-142, Centre for Economic Policy Research.
    20. Püttmann, Vitus & Thomsen, Stephan L. & Trunzer, Johannes, 2020. "Zur Relevanz von Ausstattungsunterschieden für Forschungsleistungsvergleiche: Ein Diskussionsbeitrag für die Wirtschaftswissenschaften in Deutschland," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-679, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, revised Mar 2021.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tenure and promotion practices; career concerns; economics publishing; citations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2018-070. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/mfichus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Jennifer Pachon (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/mfichus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.