A Citation-Based Test for Discrimination at Economics and Finance Journals
Indiana University Dept. of Finance
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Economics
Using citations to papers published in seven leading economics and finance journals from 1980-85, we develop a test for discrimination in the editorial review process. Specifically, we determine whether the editorial treatment afforded to papers written by different types of authors is justified by subsequent citations. Our test does not suffer from the problem common to studies of discrimination that individual productivity is unobservable. We find that journal editors treat articles by low-ranked institutions more favorably than articles by authors at top-20 institutions, holding article quality fixed. In contrast, there is no evidence of discrimination based on author gender. In the aggregate, there is no evidence of bias against theoretical or empirical work, though some individual journals exhibit favoritism towads either theory or empirics. We also test for favoritism towards authors who publish in the JPE, QJE and JFE who are affiliated with Chicago, Harvard and Rochester respectively. Our findings are consistent with the view that faculty from these institutions are, in fact, held to a higher standard than their peers who do not share an affiliation with the institutional homes of these journals.
JEL Classification: J71, B41, G00working papers series
Date posted: July 15, 1998
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