The Decline of Peer Review

18 July 2011 at 2:24 pm 2 comments

| Dick Langlois |

Glenn Ellison has a paper in the new issue of Economic Inquiry called “Is Peer Review in Decline?” Here’s the abstract.

Over the past decade, there has been a decline in the fraction of papers in top economics journals written by economists from the highest ranked economics departments. This paper documents this fact and uses additional data on publications and citations to assess various potential explanations. Several observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the Internet improves the ability of high profile authors to disseminate their research without going through the traditional peer review process.

An alternative explanation is that the distribution of productivity among departments has gotten flatter, and Ellison can’t definitively reject that possibility. (Luigi Zingales and his coauthors had argued that the Internet has reduced the advantages for productivity of being at a top university.) But the explanation Ellison favors has to do with the increasing costs of the review process, especially at top field journals, where editors (he claims) have been increasingly demanding revisions. Because the costs of the review process are high and the benefits modest for prestigious authors, they increasingly avoid these journals.

Entry filed under: - Langlois -, Education, Papers.

The Menger Sponge 2011 Oliver E. Williamson Prize

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michael Marotta  |  22 July 2011 at 3:56 am

    Much remains to be discovered and announced, of course. Contrary to that, once a professor achieves tenure, incentives to publish are reduced. Also, good research takes time; a project might require years before results are announced. I would like to believe that the demise of Keynesian arithmetic has reduced the output of algebraic formulations about markets. Even if it is true that “top” schools produce fewer papers, perhaps the best new ideas are coming from (will come from) other places that will prove to be the new “top” schools of the century unfolding. Finally, even if economics is moribund, other studies – geography with remote sensing and GIS, just for example, which offers interesting applications for medical imaging as well – are emerging.

    We like to wrap people and events, times and places in names: the Renaissance; the Industrial Revolution; Gen-X. Perhaps we have passed the Age of Economics, the days when Marxists and Keynesians ruled societies.

  • 2. Anvur lancia la Bomba H  |  23 July 2011 at 11:31 am

    […] Il documento-anvur  sui criteri di valutazione per i futuri concorsi universitari incentrati sulle bibliometriche genera le prevedibili reazioni e polemiche. V. ad esempio Israel ma non solo: ancora-sul-demenziale-h-index   contro l’idea insana di valutare i contributi scientifici senza leggerli.  Ma è solo l’inizio, perchè l’Italia arriva tardi quando ormai l’insostenibilità di un sistema globale imperniato sui conteggi delle citazioni inizia ad essere percepita nei punti alti della ricerca mondiale : the-decline-of-peer-review […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Nicolai J. Foss | home | posts
Peter G. Klein | home | posts
Richard Langlois | home | posts
Lasse B. Lien | home | posts


Former Guests | posts


Recent Posts



Our Recent Books

Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, Organizing Entrepreneurial Judgment: A New Approach to the Firm (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
Peter G. Klein and Micheal E. Sykuta, eds., The Elgar Companion to Transaction Cost Economics (Edward Elgar, 2010).
Peter G. Klein, The Capitalist and the Entrepreneur: Essays on Organizations and Markets (Mises Institute, 2010).
Richard N. Langlois, The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Schumpeter, Chandler, and the New Economy (Routledge, 2007).
Nicolai J. Foss, Strategy, Economic Organization, and the Knowledge Economy: The Coordination of Firms and Resources (Oxford University Press, 2005).
Raghu Garud, Arun Kumaraswamy, and Richard N. Langlois, eds., Managing in the Modular Age: Architectures, Networks and Organizations (Blackwell, 2003).
Nicolai J. Foss and Peter G. Klein, eds., Entrepreneurship and the Firm: Austrian Perspectives on Economic Organization (Elgar, 2002).
Nicolai J. Foss and Volker Mahnke, eds., Competence, Governance, and Entrepreneurship: Advances in Economic Strategy Research (Oxford, 2000).
Nicolai J. Foss and Paul L. Robertson, eds., Resources, Technology, and Strategy: Explorations in the Resource-based Perspective (Routledge, 2000).

%d bloggers like this: