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

  • Tom Coupé

    ()

    (Kyiv School of Economics and Kyiv Economics Institute)

  • Victor Ginsburgh

    (ECARES, Université Libre de Bruxelles and CORE, Université Catholique de Louvain)

  • Abdul Noury

    (CORE, Université Catholique de Louvain)

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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File URL: http://repec.kse.org.ua/pdf/KSE_dp9.pdf
File Function: First version, Jun 2008
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Paper provided by Kyiv School of Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 9.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:kse:dpaper:9
Note: Under review in Oxford Economic Papers
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  1. Oswald, Andrew J., 2006. "An Examination of the Reliability of Prestigious Scholarly Journals: Evidence and Implications for Decision-makers," IZA Discussion Papers 2070, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Sofronis Clerides & Panos Pashardes & Alexandros Polycarpou, 2011. "Peer Review vs Metric‐based Assessment: Testing for Bias in the RAE Ratings of UK Economics Departments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 78(311), pages 565-583, 07.
  3. GINSBURGH, Victor & VAN OURS, Jan C., . "Expert opinion and compensation: evidence from a musical competition," CORE Discussion Papers RP 1617, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  4. William J. Moore & Robert J. Newman & Peter J. Sloane & Jeremy D. Steely, . "Productivity Effects of Research Assessment Exercises," Departmental Working Papers 2002-15, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  5. Ayres, Ian & Vars, Fredrick E, 2000. "Determinants of Citations to Articles in Elite Law Reviews," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 427-50, January.
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