Do Research Assessment Exercises Raise the Returns to Publication Quality? Evidence from the New Zealand Market for Academic Economists
Many countries have introduced research assessment exercises to help measure and raise the quality of research in their university sector. But there is little empirical evidence on how these exercises, such as the Quality Evaluation of the Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) in New Zealand and the recently aborted Research Quality Framework (RQF) in Australia, affect the signals that researchers observe in the academic labour market. Since these assessments aim to raise research quality, individual academics should perceive rising returns to publication quality at the expense of the returns to quantity. Data we collected on the rank and publication records of New Zealand academic economists prior to the introduction of the PBRF and just after the second assessment round are used to estimate the changing returns to the quantity and quality of journal articles.
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