FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Economia e Gestão

Unidade de I&D

Núcleo de Investigação em Políticas Económicas - NIPE [ECO-Norte-Braga-3182] visitada em 18/11/2008

Classificação: Excellent

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
The presentation by the unit coordinator was effective in providing useful quantitative information. Members of the unit have many publications in good international journals, although fewer in excellent ones. Furthermore, these publications are fairly well distributed among researchers, with 15 of the 17 PhD researchers having a publication in an international journal since 2003.

The unit has 17 PhD members and is divided into three groups. The most homogeneous in research activity are the ones in “Public and Regional Economics” and “Macroeconomics”, the former succeeding in publishing regularly in rank A international reviews while the latter publishes more regularly in rank B international reviews but has good connections with famous international researchers who have visited the university for summer school lectures. The third group, “Industrial and Labour Economics”, is less homogeneous since only one member publishes regularly in rank A international reviews.

The unit has a number of strengths, besides its publication record.

• The discussion gave the impression of competent leadership on the part of all the three group coordinators. The unit has a well designed development strategy and clear working rules about such things as allocation of FCT funds.

• The unit has done a good job of recruiting new members, some with very good publication records.

• The unit is in the process of setting up a PhD program jointly with GEMF (unit 31) at the Universidade de Coimbra.

• The unit is aware that it has produced lots of publications in good journals, but fewer in excellent journals. It is encouraging researchers to submit their work to excellent journals, but the submissions have been largely met with rejections. This policy of encouraging submissions to excellent journals is a very worthwhile one. It is difficult to publish in the top journals in economics and success for an individual researcher often comes after a number of attempts.

• The unit seems to have established a clear niche at the Universidade do Minho. Even though the only formal criterion for entry into the group is that a researcher applies and no applicant has been turned down yet, the unit consists of good and active researchers.

• A useful service performed by this unit, jointly with CEMPRE (unit 277) at the Universidade do Porto, is that it has set up and maintains a data set and associated web site on publications by Portuguese economists and foreign economists at Portuguese institutions. The site computes rankings by authors and by institutions baded on average rankings of economic journals.

• The summer school and conference organizing activities seem to be of high quality.

There were a couple of areas where the panel identified weaknesses or were not able to obtain satisfactory answers to our questions:

• The division of the unit into three different groups seems to be largely artificial.

• The presentation of publications did not make it clear which publications were written by newly recruited members before joining the unit.

• There were some complaints about the constraints of high teaching loads without any indication of what could be done about this. Some of the other excellent units that we visited did not make such complaints.

• Although the unit is in the process of starting a PhD program, it could not explain to us how it expected to recruit very good students or even if it thought that it was a good idea to keep their own top undergraduate students rather than encourage them to study abroad.
Sobre os grupos de investigação
Industrial and Labour Economics [RG-ECO-Norte-Braga-3182-364]
Macroeconomics [RG-ECO-Norte-Braga-3182-362]
Public and Regional Economics [RG-ECO-Norte-Braga-3182-363]

Comentários da unidade

Os membros do NIPE congratulam-se com o resultado da avaliação da unidade, na medida em que recompensa o esforço desenvolvido ao longo de vários anos e cria condições para continuar a desenvolver trabalho de excelência no futuro.

Gostaríamos, no entanto, de salientar que o programa de doutoramento referido no relatório do painel de avaliação é uma iniciativa do Departamento de Economia da Escola de Economia e Gestão da Universidade do Minho, em parceria com a Faculdade de Economia da Universidade de Coimbra.