Low-grade jour­nal rank­ings are fail­ing eco­nom­ics

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The Aus­tralian Busi­ness Deans Coun­cil has just released its new rank­ing of the qual­ity of aca­d­e­mic jour­nals in eco­nom­ics. This list­ing in turn is used to rank the qual­ity of aca­d­e­mic research.

A pub­li­ca­tion in a top-ranked A* jour­nal earns seri­ous rev­enue for the uni­ver­sity where an aca­d­e­mic is employed, and seri­ous brownie points for the aca­d­e­mic in terms of career and pro­mo­tion prospects. A pub­li­ca­tion in a B-graded jour­nal is worth much less; a C-graded is effec­tively “thanks for try­ing”. The many ungraded jour­nals are ignored com­pletely. So the rank­ings are a big deal for aca­d­e­mics, and they strongly affect the direc­tion of research by econ­o­mists.

Given that main­stream econ­o­mists com­pletely failed to antic­i­pate the global eco­nomic cri­sis that began in 2007-08, you’d imag­ine that this resulted in jour­nals that pub­lish non-main­stream econ­o­mists being more highly ranked, wouldn’t you? After all, while main­stream jour­nals like theAmer­i­can Eco­nomic Review were awash with arti­cles dis­cussing the won­ders of the ‘Great Mod­er­a­tion’ and pre­dict­ing con­tin­u­ing sta­bil­ity ahead – even after the cri­sis had begun – non-main­stream jour­nals like the Jour­nal of Post Key­ne­sian Eco­nom­ics and the Jour­nal of Eco­nomic Issues had con­tri­bu­tions from authors like the late Wynne God­ley warn­ing that it was all going to end in tears – as it duly did. Surely then, non-main­stream jour­nals deserve to be ranked more highly.

Dream on. Click here to read more.

About Steve Keen

I am Professor of Economics and Head of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London, and a long time critic of conventional economic thought. As well as attacking mainstream thought in Debunking Economics, I am also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. The key issue I am tackling here is the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous private debts accumulated globally, and our very low rate of inflation.
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  • Andrew Cromp­ton

    Hi Steve
    Since the two par­ties are nearly becom­ing nearly indis­tingish­able and their tied eco­nomic and polit­i­cal for­tunes are sim­ply a mat­ter of inter­na­tional vagaries it would appear that after the com­ing debt col­lapse there may arise of some new polit­i­cal forces which are not aligned with either main­strem party.
    Eco­nomic thought thought like polit­i­cal thought may also undergo a sim­i­lar realign­ment to rethink the debt col­lapse.
    Your com­ments.

  • Frank Reitzen­stein


    No doubt. I notice that you believe in Global Warm­ing because of what your sci­ence col­leagues tell you. I was offered a PhD schol­ar­ship in Physics but got out. Acad­e­mia is hugely over rated. Sci­ence is much about pol­i­tics and vested inter­ests. It is like a reli­gion. No need to build on the basics, just go with the flow. I guess if you are a pro­fes­sional with a C pass that is all that you are capa­ble of any­way. (I don’t mean you Pro­fes­sor Keen).

    Some­one has yet to explain to me why tem­per­a­ture has been con­stant for a decade when car­bon diox­ide, which is increas­ing, dri­ves tem­per­a­ture.


    Per­son­ally I think high tem­per­a­tures favour the res­pi­ra­tion equa­tion, explain­ing the car­bon diox­ide increase.

    That is just the begin­ning. I believe salt and fat are good for you. Ultra vio­let light pro­duces vit­a­min D.

    Of course I have a easy the­ory on global warm­ing based on high school physics, but I will leave that to the many sci­en­tists who are onto the case. One hears that cli­mate skep­tics are sacked from uni­ver­si­ties. Sound famil­iar? I just can’t kiss butt. Thats why I work for myself.

    Frank Reitzen­stein

  • Steve Hum­mel


    Eco­nom­ics, finance and pol­i­tics (and their respec­tive the­o­ries) need to extri­cate them­selves from the grip of power. This will never hap­pen until the vast major­ity of the pop­u­lace is eco­nom­i­cally secure, and so bet­ter able and more will­ing to place ethics above secu­rity or nar­row self inter­est. This could be done by mak­ing a decent lifestyle guaranteed…and then adapt­ing the eco­nomic and mon­e­tary sys­tem to that indi­vid­ual real­ity. We can wal­low in dominance.power and its inhu­mane effects for­ever or con­front that the sys­tem as it is cur­rently con­sti­tuted does and can­not pro­vide it. Even­tu­ally the fail­ure to con­front this sys­temic truth will lead to either an absurd real­ity that no one can deny or, sadly, pos­si­bly war. Or we can embrace Wis­dom and make the right changes to pol­icy. My ques­tion is sim­ply why not? After all are we homo eco­nom­i­cus or homo sapi­ens, that is wise and dis­cern­ing man?