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The Review Process in Economics: Is it Too Fast?

  • Ofer H. Azar

Rewards for publications in good economics journals are very high, while submission fees and other monetary costs associated with submitting an existing manuscript are low. Consequently, the editorial delay (especially the first response time – the time until the first editorial decision), by postponing monetary rewards to publication, constitutes the major submission cost (from the author’s perspective). Reducing the delay will induce many additional submissions of low-quality papers to good journals, increasing significantly the workload of editors and referees. Moreover, the rejection rate will increase and cause papers to be rejected more times prior to publication, offsetting at least some of the shorter first response times. As a result, the efforts of many editors to reduce the editorial delay, while attracting more submissions to their journals, may have adverse effects from a social perspective, and the optimal delay might be longer than the current average of four months.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series General Economics and Teaching with number 0503013.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 27 Mar 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpgt:0503013
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 34
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  1. Moore, William J & Newman, Robert J & Turnbull, Geoffrey K, 2001. "Reputational Capital and Academic Pay," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(4), pages 663-71, October.
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  9. Glenn Ellison, 2000. "The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process," NBER Working Papers 7804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ofer H. Azar, 2004. "Rejections and the importance of first response times," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 259-274, March.
  11. Engers, Maxim & Gans, Joshua S, 1998. "Why Referees Are Not Paid (Enough)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1341-49, December.
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  13. Trivedi, Pravin K, 1993. "An Analysis of Publication Lags in Econometrics," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 93-100, Jan.-Marc.
  14. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1994. "Facts and Myths about Refereeing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 153-163, Winter.
  15. Oster, Sharon, 1980. "The Optimal Order for Submitting Manuscripts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 444-48, June.
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