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Chant Series

Publishing Economics

Publishing Economics

Analyses of the Academic Journal Market in Economics

Joshua Gans

Edited by Joshua Gans, Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne, Australia

2000 320 pp Hardback 978 1 84064 283 4
2001 Paperback 978 1 84064 932 1

Hardback £99.00 on-line price £89.10

Paperback £31.00 on-line price £24.80


‘We have all had rejections that infuriated us because the reviewers always seem not to have read our work with the care and understanding that it merits.’
– William J. Baumol, New York University and Princeton University, US

Contents: Introduction Part I: Success and Rejection in Economics 1. Life Among the Econ 2. The Young Economist’s Guide to Professional Etiquette 3. How are the Might Fallen 4. Aging and Productivity Among Economists Part II: Referees and Editors 5. Facts and Myths About Refereeing 6. Is There Value Added from the Review Process in Economics? 7. The Effects of Double-Blind versus Single-Blind Reviewing 8. Favoritism versus Search for Good Papers 9. Why Referees are not Paid (Enough) Part III: To Co-Author or Not to Co-Author 10. Estimates of the Returns to Quality and Co-authorship in Economic Academia 11. Trends in Multi-Authored Papers in Economics 12. First Author Conditions Part IV: The Influence of Economics Journals 13. The Journals of Economics 14. The Scholarly Journal Literature of Economics 15. The Relative Impacts of Economics Journals Index Contributors: R.M. Blank, M. Engers, C. Friedland, J.S. Gans, S. Grant, D.S. Hammermesh, J. Hudson, S.P. King, D.N. Laband, A. Leijonhufvud, S.M. Oster, M.J. Piette, R.D. Sauer, G.B. Shepherd, G.J. Stigler, S.M. Stigler, J.M. Wells

Further information

‘We have all had rejections that infuriated us because the reviewers always seem not to have read our work with the care and understanding that it merits.’
– William J. Baumol, New York University and Princeton University, US

‘I somehow rub referees up the wrong way, maybe by claiming more originality than I really have. Whatever the cause, I still open return letters from journals with fear and trembling, and more often than not get bad news. I am having a terrible time with my current work on economic geography. Referees tell me that it is obvious, it’s wrong and anyway they said it years ago.’
– Paul Krugman, MIT, US

‘Everyone has a “good” paper rejected at one time because of a vicious unfair stupid referee and everyone has a “bad” paper rejected at one time because it deserves to be buried. Neither are quite as devastating as a teenager being rejected in some passionate one-sided romance, but you still can’t forget them.’
– Richard Freeman, NBER, US

‘Economists are peculiar social scientists not least because they attach enormous value to the publication of articles in the refereed journals and virtually no value to the publication of books. It is difficult for economists to have a coffee break without a conversation which quickly turns to questions like: “Why was my article refereed by so-and-so journal? Why did the anonymous referees say what they did? Where shall I send my next paper?” In short, the publication process merits a hideous fascination if only because it governs the pecuniary and non-pecuniary rewards of the economics profession. Here are 15 classic articles on that topic gathered together by an editor who has long studied the practices of economics journals. Although economists do not read books, this is one book they will want to read – and with profit too.’
– The late Mark Blaug, formerly of the University of London and University of Buckingham, UK

The path to success as an academic economist is littered with obstacles. Even with excellent research material, one faces issues of running the seminar and conference gauntlet, tempestuous relationships with co-authors, the selection of an appropriate journal outlet, a detailed peer review process and, with it, the ever-present spectre of rejection.

This collection tackles the issues confronting the up-and-coming economist. The authors include some of the subject’s finest luminaries who offer friendly and invaluable advice as well as providing a more light-hearted look at the publication process. Some articles have become classics in their own right. They vary from an examination of seminal (and originally rejected) articles by leading economists to an analysis of why referees are not adequately paid. The tools of both economic theory and econometrics are applied to uncover some home truths and, as a result, these papers provide new insights into the nature of economic discourse.

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