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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Is Economics the Fairest of Them All ?


  • Quan-Hoang Vuong
  • Nguyen Phuc Khanh Linh
  • Viet Phuong La
  • Thu-Trang Vuong
  • Manh-Tung Ho
  • Minh Hoang Nguyen
  • Thanh-Hang Pham
  • Manh Toan Ho


As an example of a recent emerging economy, Vietnam has witnessed changes in its research policies and productivity during the last ten years. Since the establishment of the National Foundation for Science and Technology Development (NAFOSTED) in 2008, the Vietnamese scientific community had adapted to new international standards in 2014 and 2017, which resulted in different productivity between social sciences and humanities (SSH) disciplines. Therefore, to understand the effects of new research policies, this study deploys Bayesian analysis on a comprehensive dataset of 1,564 Vietnamese authors in the 2008-2018 period. The dataset was extracted from the exclusively designed Social Sciences Humanities Peer Award (SSHPA) database ( Various factors are considered in the data collecting process, including age, gender, new authors in a year, leading authors, co-authorship, and journal’s Impact Factor (JIF). The findings indicate three main characteristics of the Vietnamese SSH community after the research policy application. First, in terms of output, Economics is the dominant field relative to other SSH’s disciplines in Vietnam. It has contributed 858 publications in 12 years, about two times as much as the total output of Education, the second place. Economics also experiences a high level of contribution from authors at the age of 40-44 and nearly 500 new authors within the period. Secondly, despite a rapid rise in the number of lead authors, gender disparity among disciplines is a critical issue. Male researchers outnumber female ones in Economics and Social medicine, with Education being the sole exception. Lastly, authors in Education appears to have less international collaboration than those in Social medicine, Economics, and other fields. The success of Economics could be a reference point for other SSH disciplines to increase their research output. These findings enable a better understanding of SSH research policy application and call for a more suitable policy to support female academics in a number of SSH fields.

Suggested Citation

  • Quan-Hoang Vuong & Nguyen Phuc Khanh Linh & Viet Phuong La & Thu-Trang Vuong & Manh-Tung Ho & Minh Hoang Nguyen & Thanh-Hang Pham & Manh Toan Ho, 2020. "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Is Economics the Fairest of Them All ?," Working Papers CEB 20-004, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/303411

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Social sciences and humanities; Social medicine; Education; Scientific productivity; Research policy application; Economics; SSHPA database; Vietnam;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A00 - General Economics and Teaching - - General - - - General
    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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