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On the optimality of academic rankings of regions with RePEc data

Based on the bibliographical data available with the RePEc (Research Papers in Economics), the Internet Documents in Economics Access Service (IDEAS) publishes every month the up-dated academic rankings of different geographic regions (countries/states in the US). This paper raises the question whether the method used by the IDEAS/RePEc to obtain academic rankings of different regions in terms of the academic performance of economists associated with them can be considered optimal. It devises five different types of ranking procedure based on the principles of representation of numerically large and varied types of ranking criteria by a single index of overall ranking scores. Empirically, it uses the data published by the IDEAS for the month of September 2008. It is found that the overall ranking scores obtained by the IDEAS are almost optimal on the four (of the five) principles of representation. However, it is not so when the principle of representation is maximization of the minimal squared correlation of overall ranking scores with the constituent individual ranking scores. The overall ranking scores based on maximization of minimal squared correlation beget larger impact (weight) of a select few scientometric criteria such as h-index, download counts, and certain specific (co-authorship discounted) measures of impact-weighted citation and productivity of authors affiliated to the regions under consideration. As a consequence, it has some bias in favour of economically developed regions, while the overall ranking scores obtained by the IDEAS are slightly biased in favour of the economically less developed regions. The IDEAS rankings, therefore, have a tendency to discount for the disadvantages faced by the economists associated with the less privileged regions.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/11098/1/MPRA_paper_11098.pdf
File Function: original version
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 11098.

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Date of creation: 14 Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11098
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