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On the Evaluation of Economic Research: the Case of Italy

Marcella Corsi (), Carlo D'Ippoliti () and Federico Lucidi

No 11-04, DULBEA Working Papers from ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles

Abstract: The Italian case can be considered as an internationally relevant example to suggest a critical reflection on the evaluation criteria adopted in research assessment exercises, pointing at the need of clear and shared guidelines based on transparency and accountability and aiming at preserving (or even encouraging) the pluralism of ideas. Our findings support the view that if research institutions are encouraged to engage only in those lines of research that are likely to receive the highest rating according to the adopted evaluation criteria, a convergence process is to be expected within Economics, resulting in a disregard of heterodox schools and historical methods in favour of mainstream approaches and quantitative methods. In our view, a proper fine-tuning of the assessment methodology is needed, before subsequent rankings can be used as a guide for the allocation of public financing among research institutions. In the case of Economics, this means overcoming the limits of commonly adopted peer review approaches, through the development of proper evaluation designs and the integration of qualitative appraisals with quantitative indicators. In order to preserve pluralism and originality of research, we propose a simple quantitative index based on field-normalization.

Keywords: research evaluation; contemporary research in economics; Italy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A11 A14 B20 B40 B50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 37 p.
Date: 2011-03-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his, nep-hme and nep-sog
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