Resume Padding Among Economists
57 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2012
Date Written: December 1, 2011
Abstract: The policy of the American Economic Review (AER) to publish unrefereed papers in the same volume as refereed ones gives economists the opportunity to pad their resumes by trying to pass Papers & Proceedings off as refereed AER articles. Using unique data on curricula vitae of economists at the top 25 U.S. economics departments, we provide preliminary evidence in support of deliberate obfuscation. Economists with more Papers & Proceedings are more likely to list them in a way that is difficult to distinguish from refereed ones. We then go on to provide support for a more benign explanation, that the convention guiding how one should document Papers & Proceedings is in transition and varies across communities of scholars. We provide a series of difference-in-differences analyses of citation behavior, both at the level of demographic groups and individuals, showing that economists who cite Papers & Proceedings more tend to be the ones who “pad” more, suggesting both are correlated with an additional latent factor — a judgment about the journal’s prestige.
Keywords: information, conventions, economics profession, curriculum vitae
JEL Classification: D83, K42, A11
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation