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Publishing and Promotion in Economics: The Tyranny of the Top Five

James Heckman and Sidharth Moktan ()
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Sidharth Moktan: Center for the Economics of Human Development, University of Chicago

No 2018-070, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between placement of publications in Top Five (T5) journals and receipt of tenure in academic economics departments. Analyzing the job histories of tenure-track economists hired by the top 35 U.S. economics departments, we find that T5 publications have a powerful influence on tenure decisions and rates of transition to tenure. A survey of the perceptions of young economists supports the formal statistical analysis. Pursuit of T5 publications has become the obsession of the next generation of economists. However, the T5 screen is far from reliable. A substantial share of influential publications appear in non-T5 outlets. Reliance on the T5 to screen talent incentivizes careerism over creativity.

Keywords: tenure and promotion practices; career concerns; economics publishing; citations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A14 I23 J44 O31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cul, nep-lma and nep-sog
Note: ECI
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (24) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Heckma ... -economics-top-5.pdf First version, September 26, 2018 (application/pdf)
http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Heckma ... T_2018-09-14a_sm.pdf Text Appendix (application/pdf)
http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Heckma ... _2018-09-17a_sjs.pdf Online Appendix (application/pdf)
http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Heckma ... onomics-top-5_r1.pdf Second version, March 19, 2019 (application/pdf)
http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Heckma ... _2019-03-18a_sjs.pdf Text Appendix, Revised (application/pdf)
http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Heckma ... x_2019-03-18a_sm.pdf Online Appendix, Revised (application/pdf)

Related works:
Chapter: Publishing and promotion in economics - The tyranny of the Top Five (2020) Downloads
Journal Article: Publishing and Promotion in Economics: The Tyranny of the Top Five (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Publishing and Promotion in Economics: The Tyranny of the Top Five (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Publishing and Promotion in Economics: The Tyranny of the Top Five (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Publishing and Promotion in Economics: The Tyranny of the Top Five (2018) Downloads
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