FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Economia e Gestão

Unidade de I&D

Grupo de Estudos Monetários e Financeiros [ECO-Centro-Coimbra-31] visitada em 20/11/2008

Classificação: Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
This unit has a large number of publications in international journals, some of them of good rank. It has a PhD program and is planning to expand it into a joint program with NIPE (unit 3182) at the Universidade do Minho. It publishes a journal, Notas Económicas, with articles in Portuguese and English which, we were told, is the only journal in Portugal currently publishing economics research in Portuguese.

The strengths of this unit are found in its publication record and its plans to expand its PhD program. The weaknesses of the unit are found in the imbalances in the publication record, the lack of clear structure and incentives for research, and the poor morale that we found.

After the presentation of the unit by the unit coordinators, the panel asked a number of questions to which we could not obtain satisfactory answers:

• We asked about the relationship between the unit and John T. Addison, the author or co-author of many of the unit’s publications, and most of the better ones. On RePEc, Addison is listed as having three affiliations, the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in Rimini, Italy, and GEMF. On Addison’s webpage at South Carolina, neither the Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis nor GEMF is listed at all, although IZA in Bonn and the Centre for Labor and Employment Law at New York University are listed as additional affiliations. We were shown a reprint of a publication co-authored by Addison that listed the GEMF affiliation, but a search on the internet reveals that many, if not most, do not list GEMF. Furthermore, recent publications list yet another affiliation of Addison, Queen’s University in Belfast. We were told that Addison comes to Coimbra three or four times per year and is the co-author of several on-going papers. We did not understand how this merits status as a full member in the centre. This is significant because the unit’s publishing performance, as presented to us, rests heavily on this outsider’s shoulders.

• Rules for membership in the unit were implicit and vague. About half of the members of the economics department at Coimbra are members of the unit. We were told only that members should be able to publish. A search of the curricula vitae on the FCT site revealed that 8 of the 17 PhD members had published an article in an international journal since 2003, and an online search showed 2 more. By our count little more than half of the researchers can be classified as active, and there are large imbalances.

• The rules for allocation of funds are also implicit and vague. The members of the unit who decide on the allocation are the two research group coordinators. We learned that almost all the funds are allocated to travel expenses. We did not receive a clear answer to our question of how funds were allocated to encourage good publications.

• When we asked about seminars, we were told that there had been monthly seminars, but because of heavy teaching loads and the need to adapt to the Bologna reforms, there had been no seminars recently.

• Similarly, when we asked for details about the joint PhD program with NIPE, we learned only that it was still at the planning stage.

• The open discussion with unit members generated many complaints by these members: complaints about teaching loads, complaints against the FCT, complaints against the rector, complaints against the economics profession for its dominating use of English, and so on. The impression was that the many members of this unit were not ready for competition with economists in the rest of the world. In this context the reasons for NIPE to jointly sponsor a PhD program with this unit are not clear.



Sobre os grupos de investigação
Financial, Macro and Growth Economics [RG-ECO-Centro-Coimbra-31-2263]
Labor/Applied Microeconomics/Ecological Economics [RG-ECO-Centro-Coimbra-31-2261]