Why Does Research in Finance Have So Little Impact?

53 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2017 Last revised: 13 May 2018

See all articles by Chris Brooks

Chris Brooks

University of Reading - ICMA Centre

Evelyn Fenton

University of Reading - Department of Management

Lisa Schopohl

ICMA Centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading

James T. Walker

Henley Business School, University of Reading

Date Written: December 18, 2016

Abstract

The quantity of finance research has grown enormously over the past two decades, yet questions remain over its breadth and ability to benefit the economy and society beyond academia. Using multisource data, we argue that individual and institutional incentives have fostered insularity and a consequent homogeneity in the discipline. We examine the characteristics of research that is published and cited in the leading field journals in finance, arguing that the work has become abstract and unrelated to real world issues. The work published in the ‘top’ journals makes increasing use of US data, even where the researchers are drawn from different countries. Using information from impact assessment, publication patterns, and grant capture, we illustrate that this narrow agenda lacks relevance to the financial services sector, the economy or wider society compared to other areas of business and management research. In particular, we highlight the relative absence of research on ethics in academic finance and discuss the likely consequences for the discipline including its relevance to society.

Keywords: critical finance, journal ratings lists, impact, elitism in publishing, incentive structures, ethical finance research

JEL Classification: A11, B41, O30

Suggested Citation

Brooks, Chris and Fenton, Evelyn and Schopohl, Lisa and Walker, James T., Why Does Research in Finance Have So Little Impact? (December 18, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2936544 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2936544

Chris Brooks (Contact Author)

University of Reading - ICMA Centre ( email )

Whiteknights Park
P.O. Box 242
Reading RG6 6BA
United Kingdom
+44 118 931 82 39 (Phone)
+44 118 931 47 41 (Fax)

Evelyn Fenton

University of Reading - Department of Management ( email )

PO Box 218
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH
United Kingdom

Lisa Schopohl

ICMA Centre, Henley Business School, University of Reading ( email )

Whiteknights Park
P.O. Box 242
Reading RG6 6BA
United Kingdom

James T. Walker

Henley Business School, University of Reading ( email )

PO Box 218
Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AH
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 118 378 7374 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.henley.ac.uk/people/person/dr-james-walker/

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