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The Relevance of the ‘h’ and ‘g’ Index to Economics in the Context of a Nation-wide Research Evaluation Scheme: The New Zealand Case

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  • David L. Anderson

    () (Queen's University)

  • John Tressler

    () (University of Waikato)

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relevance of the citation-based ‘h’ and ‘g’ indexes as a means for measuring research output in economics. This study is unique in that it is the first to utilize the ‘h’ and ‘g’ indexes in the context of a time limited evaluation period and to provide comprehensive coverage of all academic economists in all university-based economics departments within a nation state. For illustration purposes we have selected New Zealand’s Performance Based Research Fund (PBRF) as our evaluation scheme. In order to provide a frame of reference for ‘h’ and ‘g’ index output measures, we have also estimated research output using a number of journal-based weighting schemes. In general, our findings suggest that ‘h’ and ‘g’ index scores are strongly associated with low-powered journal ranking schemes and weakly associated with high powered journal weighting schemes. More specifically, we found the ‘h’ and ‘g’ indexes to suffer from a lack of differentiation: for example, 52 percent of all participants received a score of zero under both measures, and 92 and 89 percent received scores of two or less under ‘h’ and ‘g’, respectively. Overall, our findings suggest that ‘h’ and ‘g’ indexes should not be incorporated into a PBRF-like framework.

Suggested Citation

  • David L. Anderson & John Tressler, 2012. "The Relevance of the ‘h’ and ‘g’ Index to Economics in the Context of a Nation-wide Research Evaluation Scheme: The New Zealand Case," Working Papers in Economics 12/04, University of Waikato.
  • Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:12/04
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. David L. Anderson & John Tressler, 2013. "The New Zealand performance-based research fund and its impact on publication activity in economics," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 1-11, September.
    2. David L. Anderson & John Tressler, 2014. "Citation-Capture Rates by Economic Journals:Do they Differ from Other Disciplines and Does it Matter?," Working Papers in Economics 14/10, University of Waikato.
    3. Wai Ching Poon & Gareth D. Leeves, 2017. "Research output: evidence from economics departments in the Asia-Pacific region," Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 604-620, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    g and h indexes; bibliometrics; journal weighting schemes; PBRF; research measurement;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • A19 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Other
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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