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The Relevance of the “h-” and “g-” Index to Economics in the Context of A Nation-Wide Research Evaluation Scheme: The New Zealand Case

Authors

  • David L. Anderson,

    1. School of Business, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada
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  • John Tressler

    Corresponding author
    1. Waikato Management School, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
    2. Economics Department, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand
    • School of Business, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, Canada
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Correspondence: John Tressler, Economics Department, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand. Email: tressler@waikato.ac.nz

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relevance of the citation-based “h-” and “g-” indexes as a means for measuring research output in economics. This study is unique in that it is the first to utilise the “h-” and “g-”indexes in the context of a time-limited evaluation period and to provide comprehensive coverage of all academic economists in all university-based economics departments within a nation state. For illustration purposes, we have selected the New Zealand's Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) as our evaluation scheme. To provide a frame of reference for “h-” and “g-”index-output measures, we have also estimated research output using a number of journal-based weighting schemes. In general, our findings suggest that “h-” and “g-”index scores are strongly associated with low-powered journal ranking schemes and weakly associated with high powered journal weighting schemes. More specifically, we found the “h-” and “g-”indexes to suffer from a lack of differentiation: for example, 52 per cent of all participants received a score of zero under both measures, and 92 and 89 per cent received scores of two or less under “h-” and “g-” respectively. Overall, our findings suggest that “h-” and “g-”indexes should not be incorporated into a PBRF-like framework.

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