Incentives for Research Effort: An Evolutionary Model of Publication Markets with Double-Blind and Open Review

Computational Economics 61:1433-1476 (2023)
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Contemporary debates about scientific institutions and practice feature many proposed reforms. Most of these require increased efforts from scientists. But how do scientists’ incentives for effort interact? How can scientific institutions encourage scientists to invest effort in research? We explore these questions using a game-theoretic model of publication markets. We employ a base game between authors and reviewers, before assessing some of its tendencies by means of analysis and simulations. We compare how the effort expenditures of these groups interact in our model under a variety of settings, such as double-blind and open review systems. We make a number of findings, including that open review can increase the effort of authors in a range of circumstances and that these effects can manifest in a policy-relevant period of time. However, we find that open review’s impact on authors’ efforts is sensitive to the strength of several other influences.

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