Daily Archives: October 22, 2009

The Ranking of Economic Journals

In a recent Huffington Post article, Ryan Grim argued that, for economists, “publishing in top journals is, like in any discipline, the key to getting tenure.”

But who decides which journals are the considered “top,” and by what criteria? UMKC Professor Fred Lee examines the problem of ranking in this recent piece (.pdf): “The Ranking Game, Class, And Scholarship In American Mainstream Economics”

Lee argues that “instead of a scientific community dedicated to the production of scientific knowledge, we have one in which economists (and their departments) are devoted to social climbing and acquiring invidious social distinctions that are publicly endorsed via the ranking game where the production of knowledge emerges (if at all) as a unintended by-product.”

Indeed, pursuing tenure ironically requires a kind of fealty to the dominant economic ideology that is the precise opposite of the purpose of tenure, which is to protect academics who present oppositional perspectives.

Read more here and here.