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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Mishra, SK, 2008. "On the optimality of academic rankings of regions with RePEc data," MPRA Paper 11098, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:11098

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cornelius Pylak, 2007. "Intelligent Region Management = Intelligent Absorption of EU funds," Romanian Journal of Regional Science, Romanian Regional Science Association, vol. 1(1), pages 71-80, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ferda, HALICIOGLU, 2014. "Research Ranking Place of Turkish Economists in the World," MPRA Paper 54058, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    IDEAS; RePEc; Bibliometric; Scientometric; principles of representation; academic rankings; economics; impact factors; h-index; citation index; journal pages; global optimality; differential evolution; Principal Components Analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • C43 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Index Numbers and Aggregation
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics

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    1. Papers using RePEc data


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