Peer Review vs Metric-Based Assessment: Testing for Bias in the RAE Ratings of UK Economics Departments
RAE ratings have been criticised as biased in favour of universities that are old, located in England, large and represented on the assessment panel. We investigate these accusations for the 1996 and 2001 RAE ratings of economics departments using independent rankings from the academic literature as quality controls. We find RAE ratings to be largely in agreement with the profession’s view of research quality as documented by independent rankings, although the latter appear to me more focused on research quality at the top end of academic achievement. Accusations of bias find no support in the data, with the exception of panel membership in 1996
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