Evaluation of Researchers: A Life Cycle Analysis of German Academic Economists

48 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2006

See all articles by Michael Rauber

Michael Rauber

University of Konstanz - Department of Economics

Heinrich W. Ursprung

University of Konstanz; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Date Written: February 2006

Abstract

In this paper we argue that any meaningful bibliometric evaluation of researchers needs to take into account that research productivity follows distinct life cycles. Using an encompassing data set portraying the research behavior of German academic economists, we first show that research productivity crucially depends on career age and vintage. Based on the identified effects, we develop a simple formula that shows how a researcher's performance compares to that of his or her peers. This kind of information may serve as an input for performance-related remuneration and track-record-based allocation of research grants. We then go on to investigate the persistence of individual productivity. The Persistence issue is of special importance in the academic labor market because of the irrevocable nature of tenure. Finally, we show how life cycle considerations can be used in evaluations of university departments in order to render the resulting rankings insensitive to the age structure of the evaluated faculties.

Keywords: research productivity, performance evaluation, life cycles, rankings

JEL Classification: A11, A14, J24, J41, M51

Suggested Citation

Rauber, Michael and Ursprung, Heinrich, Evaluation of Researchers: A Life Cycle Analysis of German Academic Economists (February 2006). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 1673. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=892734

Michael Rauber

University of Konstanz - Department of Economics ( email )

Konstanz, D-78457
Germany

Heinrich Ursprung (Contact Author)

University of Konstanz ( email )

Konstanz, D-78457
Germany
+49 7531 88 3713 (Phone)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

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