Academic journal article Journal of Risk and Insurance

Risk and Insurance Research Productivity: 1987-1996

Academic journal article Journal of Risk and Insurance

Risk and Insurance Research Productivity: 1987-1996

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Several studies have been conducted evaluating research productivity in the areas of finance and economics. These studies tend to focus on one or more of the following major categories: research productivity of individual authors and the institutions that employ them, research productivity of the universities that awarded the authors their highest academic degrees, and/or the quality of the journals in which the research is published. Studies of these types also have been applied specifically to the risk and insurance discipline, although most are now several years old and must be updated to yield useful, current information.

Research documenting productivity within the risk and insurance discipline is important for several reasons. Decision-making by administrators, prospective faculty, potential graduate students, and accreditation bodies is enhanced when reliable information is available about individuals and institutions active in risk and insurance research. The value of such information may he even more important when changes in research performance can he documented over various historical periods. The purpose of this study is to evaluate risk and insurance research productivity for the years 1987 through 1996, focusing on individual authors, their employing institutions, and the institutions from which authors obtained their highest academic degrees. The study is designed to allow historical comparisons to other studies for years prior to 1987. Further, the study is designed in recognition of the fact that research in risk and insurance is published in specialized journals as well as general finance and economics outlets. Previous relevant research is briefly discussed in the next section, followed by sections on the research methods and results. The final section consists of a brief summary and statement of conclusions.

PRIOR RESEARCH

Cox and Gustavson (1990) [hereafter CG] published the first comprehensive study of risk and insurance research. They analyzed the research productivity of authors, employing institutions, and degree-granting institutions during the eleven-year period 1976 through 1986. CG included twenty-two different journals in their study, drawing from the finance, economics, and actuarial literature in addition to journals focused exclusively on risk and insurance topics. The CG study followed the methodology of similar, more general finance studies such as Moore and Taylor (1980), Niemi (1987), and Heck, et. al. (1986). Chung and Puelz (1992) identified an empirical regularity in the frequency distribution of articles published among six different risk and insurance journals, thereby providing an alternative way of assessing individual authors' productivity.

The issue of journal quality is important for research productivity studies that incorporate numerous different journals. CG dealt with this problem by adjusting their reported page and article counts for journal impact scores, based on a survey of insurance academics conducted by Outreville and Malouin (1985). The more commonly accepted practice within the finance literature is to judge research significance on the basis of citations reported by the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI). This practice was illustrated for publications in two finance journals by Ederington (1979) and has since been used (e.g., see Borokhovich, et. al. 1995) to differentiate among finance journals on the basis of impact. Studies of risk and insurance productivity are handicapped in their use of citations as a measure of impact, because relatively few journals in the field are included in the SSCI. Thus, alternatives have been developed, including survey rankings compiled by McNamara and Kolbe (1996) and Baur, et. al. (1996), and citation-based insurance impact factors reported by Colquitt (1997).

Viewed in relationship to prior related research, the current study is both an update and an extension of the CG study. …

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