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

Author

Listed:
  • John P. Conley

    () (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

  • Mario J. Crucini

    () (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

  • Robert A. Driskill

    () (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

  • Ali Sina Onder

    () (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 1122, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:1122
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Levin, Sharon G & Stephan, Paula E, 1991. "Research Productivity over the Life Cycle: Evidence for Academic Scientists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 114-132, March.
    2. Michael Rauber & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 2008. "Life Cycle and Cohort Productivity in Economic Research: The Case of Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 431-456, November.
    3. Kalaitzidakis, P. & Mamuneas, T.P. & Stengos, T., 2003. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions," Working Papers 2003-8, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    4. Wendy A. Stock & John J. Siegfried, 2006. "Time-to-Degree for the Economics Ph.D. Class of 2001-2002," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 467-474, May.
    5. Koenker, Roger, 2004. "Quantile regression for longitudinal data," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 74-89, October.
    6. Sanjeev Goyal & Marco J. van der Leij & José Luis Moraga-Gonzalez, 2006. "Economics: An Emerging Small World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(2), pages 403-432, April.
    7. Wendy A. Stock & John J. Siegfried, 2006. "Where Are They Now? Tracking the Ph.D. Class of 1997," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 472-488, October.
    8. Pantelis Kalaitzidakis & Theofanis P. Mamuneas & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions in Economics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1346-1366, December.
    9. Marcel Fafchamps & Marco J. van der Leij, 2006. "Scientific Networks and Co-authorship," Economics Series Working Papers 256, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    10. Glenn Ellison, 2002. "The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 947-993, October.
    11. Collins, Jeffery T & Cox, Richard Guy & Stango, Victor, 2000. "The Publishing Patterns of Recent Economics Ph.D. Recipients," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 38(2), pages 358-367, April.
    12. Wendy A. Stock & T. Aldrich Finegan & John J. Siegfried, 2009. "Completing an Economics PhD in Five Years," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 624-629, May.
    13. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Laurent Linnemer, 2003. "Where are the Economists Who Publish? Publication Concentration and Rankings in Europe Based on Cumulative Publications," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1250-1308, December.
    14. Pierre-Philippe Combes & Laurent Linnemer, 2010. "Inferring Missing Citations: A Quantitative Multi-Criteria Ranking of all Journals in Economics," Working Papers halshs-00520325, HAL.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:scient:v:102:y:2015:i:2:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1469-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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).
    3. 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.
    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. John P. Conley & Ali Sina Onder & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Are all High-Skilled Coherts Created Equal? Unemployment, Gender, and Research Productivity," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 293, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    6. John P. Conley, 2012. "Low acceptance rates, commercial publishing, and the future of scholarly communication," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 1-37.
    7. Libman, A., 2011. "Journals as a Selection Tool in Economics," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, issue 12, pages 174-177.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Academia; Economists; Research Productivity; Performance Evaluation; Tenure Process; Graduate Programs; Department Rankings;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A23 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Graduate
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J29 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Other
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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