In February 2008, the Australian Government announced its intention to develop a new quality and evaluation system for research conducted at the nation’s universities. Although the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) scheme will utilize several measures to evaluate institutional performance, we have chosen to focus on one element only: the assessment of refereed journal article output based on ERA’s own journal weighting scheme. The ERA weighting scheme will undoubtedly shape the reward structure facing university administrators and individual academics. Our objective is to explore the nature of the ERA weighting scheme for economics, and to demonstrate how it impacts on departmental and individual researcher rankings relative to rankings generated by alternative schemes employed in the economics literature. In order to do so, we utilise data from New Zealand’s economics departments and the draft set of journal weights (DERA) released in August 2008 by ERA officials. Given the similarities between Australia and New Zealand, our findings should have relevance to the Australian scene. As a result, we hope to provide the reader with a better understanding of the type of research activity that influences DERA rankings at both the departmental and individual level.