Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich, Room 313
We measure the value of connections with editorial boards by identifying the causal effect of board membership on publication success using membership rotation in a sample of over 100 economics journals over the period 1990-2011. We decompose the total effect on publication success in a direct effect on joining board members' publications and an indirect effect on the publications of various types of authors connected to joining members.
We find large effects, both at the aggregate, journal--department level and the individual board member-connected author level. Although the bulk of these effects are direct, indirect effects are large. More editorial power, captured by the member's role in the submission process, and long service on the editorial board lead to substantially larger increases. The effect is absent for Europe-based connected authors, equally strong for either gender and is stronger in generalist than in field journals.
We analyze various mechanisms. We find no evidence for publication success-enhancing information flowing from the journal to authors and little evidence of favoritism. The evidence is consistent with editors searching for papers in their networks and connections with members acting as signals.
Contact person: Michael Rose, Ph.D.