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Incentives and the Effects of Publication Lags on Life Cycle Research Productivity in Economics

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  • John P. Conley
  • Mario J. Crucini
  • Robert A. Driskill
  • Ali Sina Onder

Abstract

We investigate how increases in publication delays have affected the life-cycle of publications of recent Ph.D. graduates in economics. We construct a panel dataset of 14,271 individuals who were awarded Ph.D.s between 1986 and 2000 in US and Canadian economics departments. For this population of scholars, we amass complete records of publications in peer reviewed journals listed in the JEL (a total of 368,672 observations). We find evidence of significantly diminished productivity in recent relative to earlier cohorts when productivity of an individual is measured by the number of AER equivalent publications. Diminished productivity is less evident when number of AER equivalent pages is used instead. Our findings are consistent with earlier empirical findings of increasing editorial delays, decreasing acceptance rates at journals, and a trend toward longer manuscripts. This decline in productivity is evident in both graduates of top thirty and non-top thirty ranked economics departments and may have important implications for what should constitute a tenurable record. We also find that the research rankings of the faculty do not line up with the research quality of their students in many cases.

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  • John P. Conley & Mario J. Crucini & Robert A. Driskill & Ali Sina Onder, 2011. "Incentives and the Effects of Publication Lags on Life Cycle Research Productivity in Economics," NBER Working Papers 17043, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17043
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    Cited by:

    1. Eline Poelmans & Sandra Rousseau, 2015. "Factors determining authors’ willingness to wait for editorial decisions from economic history journals," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 102(2), pages 1347-1374, February.
    2. Matthias Krapf & Heinrich Ursprung & Christian Zimmermann, 2014. "Parenthood and Productivity of Highly Skilled Labor: Evidence from the Groves of Academe," CESifo Working Paper Series 4641, CESifo.
    3. John P. Conley, 2012. "Low acceptance rates, commercial publishing, and the future of scholarly communication," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 1-37.
    4. Krapf, Matthias & Ursprung, Heinrich W. & Zimmermann, Christian, 2017. "Parenthood and productivity of highly skilled labor: Evidence from the groves of academe," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 147-175.
    5. Kim, Jin-Yeong, 2016. "The Impact of Government Support of Graduate Schools on the Research Productivity of Professors and Students," KDI Journal of Economic Policy, Korea Development Institute (KDI), vol. 38(2), pages 63-85.
    6. KRAPF, Matthias & SCHLÄPFER, Jörg, 2012. "How Nobel Laureates Would Perform In The Handelsblatt Ranking," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 12(3).
    7. John P. Conley & Ali Sina Önder & Benno Torgler, 2016. "Are all economics graduate cohorts created equal? Gender, job openings, and research productivity," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 108(2), pages 937-958, August.
    8. Conley, John P. & Onder, Ali Sina & Torgler, Benno, 2012. "Are all High-Skilled Cohorts Created Equal? Unemployment, Gender, and Research Productivity," Economy and Society 142954, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    9. Ali Sina Önder & Sascha Schweitzer, 2017. "Catching up or falling behind? Promising changes and persistent patterns across cohorts of economics PhDs in German-speaking countries from 1991 to 2008," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 110(3), pages 1297-1331, March.
    10. Libman, A., 2011. "Journals as a Selection Tool in Economics," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 12, pages 174-177.

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    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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