Incentives and the Effects of Publication Lags on Life Cycle Research Productivity in Economics

48 Pages Posted: 16 May 2011

See all articles by John P. Conley

John P. Conley

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

Mario J. Crucini

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert A. Driskill

Vanderbilt University

Ali Sina Önder

University of Portsmouth

Date Written: May 2011

Abstract

We investigate how increases in publication delays have affected the life-cycle of publications of recent Ph.D. graduates in economics. We construct a panel dataset of 14,271 individuals who were awarded Ph.D.s between 1986 and 2000 in US and Canadian economics departments. For this population of scholars, we amass complete records of publications in peer reviewed journals listed in the JEL (a total of 368,672 observations). We find evidence of significantly diminished productivity in recent relative to earlier cohorts when productivity of an individual is measured by the number of AER equivalent publications. Diminished productivity is less evident when number of AER equivalent pages is used instead. Our findings are consistent with earlier empirical findings of increasing editorial delays, decreasing acceptance rates at journals, and a trend toward longer manuscripts. This decline in productivity is evident in both graduates of top thirty and non-top thirty ranked economics departments and may have important implications for what should constitute a tenurable record. We also find that the research rankings of the faculty do not line up with the research quality of their students in many cases.

Suggested Citation

Conley, John P. and Crucini, Mario J. and Driskill, Robert A. and Önder, Ali Sina, Incentives and the Effects of Publication Lags on Life Cycle Research Productivity in Economics (May 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17043, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1841280

John P. Conley (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

Mario J. Crucini

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States
(615) 322-7357 (Phone)
(615) 343-8495 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://my.vanderbilt.edu/mariocrucini/about-me/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Robert A. Driskill

Vanderbilt University ( email )

2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240
United States
615 343 1516 (Phone)
615 343 8495 (Fax)

Ali Sina Önder

University of Portsmouth ( email )

Portsmouth, PO1 3DE
United Kingdom

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