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First Author Conditions

22 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 1998  

Maxim Engers

University of Virginia - Department of Economics

Joshua S. Gans

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management; NBER

Simon Grant

Rice University - Department of Economics; Australian National University

Stephen P. King

Monash University - Department of Economics; Productivity Commission

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 1998

Abstract

This paper provides a theoretical explanation for the persistent use of alphabetical name-orderings on academic papers in economics. In a context where market participants are interested in evaluating the relative individual contribution of authors, it is an equilibrium for papers to use alphabetical ordering. Moreover, it is never an equilibrium for authors always to be listed in order of relative contribution. In fact, we show via an example that the alphabetical name-ordering norm may be the unique equilibrium, although, multiple equilibria are also possible. Finally, we characterize the welfare properties of the noncooperative equilibrium and show it to produce research of lower quality than is optimal and than would be achieved if co-authors were forced to use name-ordering to signal relative contribution.

JEL Classification: A11, D21

Suggested Citation

Engers, Maxim and Gans, Joshua S. and Grant, Simon and King, Stephen P., First Author Conditions (May 1998). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=90728 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.90728

Maxim P. Engers

University of Virginia - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 400182
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4182
United States
804-924-3130 (Phone)
804-924-7659 (Fax)

Joshua S. Gans (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.joshuagans.com

NBER ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Simon Harold Grant

Rice University - Department of Economics ( email )

6100 South Main Street
Houston, TX 77005
United States
713-348-3332 (Phone)
713-348-6329 (Fax)

Australian National University ( email )

Coombs Building 9
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
61-2-6125-4602 (Phone)
61-2-6125-3051 (Fax)

Stephen Peter King

Monash University - Department of Economics ( email )

Wellington Road
Victoria, Roodepoort 3145
Australia

Productivity Commission ( email )

Level 28
35 Collins St.
Melbourne, Victoria, Victoria 3000
Australia

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