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World-Leading Research and its Measurement

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  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

Journalists and others have asked me whether the favourable RAE 2008 results for UK economics are believable. This is a fair question. It also opens up a broader and more important one: how can we design a bibliometric method to assess the quality (rather than merely quantity) of a nation’s science? To try to address this, I examine objective data on the world’s most influential economics articles. I find that the United Kingdom performed reasonably well over the 2001-2008 period. Of 450 genuinely world-leading journal articles, the UK produced 10% of them -- and was the source of the most-cited article in each of the Journal of Econometrics, the International Economic Review, the Journal of Public Economics, and the Rand Journal of Economics, and of the second most-cited article in the Journal of Health Economics. Interestingly, more than a quarter of these world-leading UK articles came from outside the best-known half-dozen departments. Thus the modern emphasis on ‘top’ departments and the idea that funding should be concentrated in a few places may be mistaken. Pluralism may help to foster iconoclastic ideas.

Suggested Citation

  • Oswald, Andrew J., 2009. "World-Leading Research and its Measurement," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 887, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:887
    as

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    File URL: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2009/twerp_887.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Frey, 2009. "Economists in the PITS?," International Review of Economics, Springer;Happiness Economics and Interpersonal Relations (HEIRS), vol. 56(4), pages 335-346, December.
    2. Rosalind S Hunter, 2009. "The Elite Brain Drain," Working Papers id:2048, eSocialSciences.
    3. RosalindS. Hunter & Andrew J. Oswald & Bruce G. Charlton, 2009. "The Elite Brain Drain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(538), pages 231-251, June.

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    Keywords

    Science ; evaluation ; peer-review ; citations ; research assessment exercise.;

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