Journal of Economic Surveys

Rankings Methodology for International Comparisons of Institutions and Individuals: an Application to Economics in Australia and New Zealand



Abstract.  The objectives of this paper are threefold. First, we critically survey and analyse the different methodologies that have been adopted in the rankings literature. Second, using journal articles included in the ECONLIT database and on the basis of two criteria – one based on citations and the other on perceptions of journal quality, we rank economics teaching departments in Australia and New Zealand for 1988–2002 and 1996–2002 and for individual academic economists for the periods 1988–2002, 1988–1995 and 1996–2002. Furthermore, we identify individual star performers and recognize them in a designated ‘Hall of Fame’ for 1988–2002. Third, our methodology enables us to make international comparisons on total and per capita bases. Previous multi-country ranking studies in economics do not rank economics departments. They provide rankings based on total publications in economics in universities regardless of whether the economists are in the economics departments or in other departments. Thus, no rankings on per capita bases are provided. We correct this shortcoming by providing total and per capita rankings and analysing the correlations between total and per capita rankings. This is the first study to examine whether the size of the economics department matters with regard to productivity.