Monetary Incentives for Journal Publications: Evidence from a Natural Experiment
Tanika ChakrabortyIIM Calcutta
In a bid to improve research output, educational institutions across the world have tried incentivising faculty with financial rewards for journal publications. However, empirical evidence on the effectiveness of monetary incentives, for tasks that require cognitive and creative abilities, is either absent or scarce at best. Using a unique natural experiment setting, across several schools of management education in India, we investigate whether and the extent to which monetary incentives influence research output. While some institutions implemented very specific monetary reward programs around 2012, others did not. Our strategy exploits the idea that while all institutions experienced a long-term increasing trend in research publications, only those with a monetary incentive policy in place would have experienced a jump, if any, in publications around 2012. Specifically, we investigate whether publications increased in those journals which were covered by the incentive scheme. Most importantly, we explore the quality-quantity trade-off. If one higher quality publication fetches as much monetary reward as several lower-quality publications, do researchers choose the latter or the former? Our preliminary results indicate that the absolute number of publications in journals rewarded by the incentive scheme increased significantly in institutions that implemented the policy. Moreover, the increase is driven primarily by relatively lower ranked publications across all institutions. At the same time, though, we also document an increase in the proportion of high ranked to low ranked publications due to the incentive policy.