As discussed earlier on this blog, we are trying to categorize authors by fields. The current proposal is to consider someone in a field if either 5 or 25% of her papers announced in NEP where announced in the relevant field report. These parameters are still open for debate, and the reader is welcome to weigh in. Once this is done, the next step is use this methodology to rank authors within fields. There are several ways in which this can be done.
- Take the unweighted list of authors in each field. This means the following: Take the list of authors as categorized by the parameters mentioned above. Just rank them within the list assuming the same weight to each.
- Do the same, but with weights. Those weights would correspond to the share of the field within each author’s work. So an author who has 4 of 12 papers announced in NEP announced in the NEP-MAC report would have one third of his scores count towards the ranking among macroeconomists.
- Do the same, but not restrict to those have passed the threshold to qualify for a field (currently 5 papers or 25% of papers announced in NEP).
My preference would go for the first option. I do not think that the field weights are that precise to allow using them for authors. Also, the ranking of author in a field may drop with the other options for the sole reason that he has published a working paper in another field.
I intend to have the first field rankings available in a month, so voice your opinion before then.
Option 1 is best. It is more transparent than the other options, and I think it is more accurate too. For instance, Arrow, Solow and Stiglitz have not contributed a great volume of work to environmental economics, but what they did carries a disproportional weight because of who they are. I would for sure count Arrow among the great environmental economists.
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