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Committees or Markets? An Exploratory Analysis of Best Paper Awards in Economics

Frank Mixon, Benno Torgler () and Kamal Upadhyaya ()
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Benno Torgler: School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia

Economies, 2022, vol. 10, issue 5, 1-15

Abstract: Despite the general usefulness of citations as a sort of test of the value of one’s work in the marketplace of ideas, journals and publishers tend to use alternative bases of judgment, namely committees, in selecting candidates for the conferral of journals’ best paper awards. Given that recognition—sometimes in the form of compensation and on other occasions in the form of awards—in academe is geared toward incentivizing the production of impactful research and not some less desirable goal or outcome, it is important to understand the sensitivity in the outcomes of best paper award selection processes to the types of processes used. To that end, this study compares the selection of best paper awards for journals affiliated with several of the world’s top economic associations by committees to a counterfactual process that is based on citations to published studies. Our statistical exploration indicates that in most cases and for most awards, the most cited paper was not chosen. This requires further discussion as to the core characteristics that quantitatively represent the highest impact.

Keywords: best paper awards; citations analysis; scientometrics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E F I J O Q (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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