Assessing the assessment or, the RAE and the optimal organization of University research

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    Abstract

    The UK Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) is assessed as an incentive scheme affecting the allocation of research talent of varying 'quality' across departments. The 'centres of excellence' policy implicitly pursued through the RAE is an optimal allocation strategy only if all departments in all disciplines are of the generalist variety, i.e. each pursues a research path through all its stages. Conversely, the RAE-induced research allocation minimizes efficiency if applied to specialist departments, when resources are concentrated on one specific research obstacle. It is argued that the RAE should not take the organization of University research as exogenous, but rather should encourage specialization. All results are obtained by applying to University research concepts and solutions borrowed from the mathematical theory of systems reliability.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)637-653
    Number of pages17
    JournalScottish Journal of Political Economy
    Volume55
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008

    Keywords

    • RESEARCH ASSESSMENT EXERCISE
    • UK
    • DEPARTMENTS
    • ALLOCATION
    • MANAGEMENT
    • ECONOMICS
    • BUSINESS

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