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Working Paper No. 712

How Should Research Performance be Measured? A Study of Swedish Economists

Working Paper
Henrekson, Magnus and Daniel Waldenström (2007). “How Should Research Performance be Measured? A Study of Swedish Economists”. IFN Working Paper No. 712. Stockholm: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN).

Magnus Henrekson, Daniel Waldenström

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.