Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 712: How Should Research Performance be Measured? A Study of Swedish Economists

Magnus Henrekson () and Daniel Waldenström ()
Additional contact information
Magnus Henrekson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Daniel Waldenström: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Billions of dollars are allocated every year to university research. Increased specialisation and international integration of research and researchers has sharply raised the need for comparisons of performance across fields, institutions and individual researchers. However, there is still no consensus regarding how such rankings should be conducted and what output measures are appropriate to use. We rank all full professors in a particular discipline, economics, in one country using seven established, and some of them commonly used, meas-ures of research performance. Our examination shows both that the rank order can vary greatly across measures, and that depending on the measure used the distribution of total research output is valued very differently.

Keywords: Impact of Research; Ranking; Research Output; Research Productivity; Bibliometrics; Google Scholar; h-index; Impact Factor; SSCI

JEL-codes: A11; A13; A14; B41

18 pages, First version: August 15, 2007. Revised: October 22, 2009. Earlier revisions: November 8, 2007, February 26, 2008, September 23, 2008.

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