FCT

R&D Institutions

Resultado da avaliação 2007 na área de Economia e Gestão

Unidade de I&D

CETE - Centro de Estudos de Economia Industrial, do Trabalho e da Empresa [ECO-Norte-Porto-459] visitada em 19/11/2008

Classificação: Very Good

Comentários do painel de avaliação
Sobre a unidade
This unit is merging with CEMPRE (unit 277) on January 1st, 2009. The recommendation to merge came from the last evaluation panel, and there was also some pressure from the FCT in the same sense. CETE has the same size and a similar performance level as CEMPRE, so that there is no major asymmetry that might threaten the merging process or outcome. However, merging the two units appeared at the beginning as a controversial issue, and a long time was necessary to get a consensus. Some unit members feared that a large research centre might be confused with the department. On the other hand, a large centre is in a better position to counterbalance the department power, and also to impose top-bottom rules. Finally, one of the PhD researchers said during the discussion that merging the two units would give the opportunity to merge at the same time some sub-groups, allowing the unit to eliminate inadequate research programs. The panel members think that the idea of merging the two units is a good one and that, indeed, the merging process opens the way for some necessary adjustments of the working rules and of the thematic organization. Such opportunity should not be missed.

As regards, the past performance of CETE, the major positive point is that there are quite good publications (with ranks 1 and 2) within the two groups doing research in spatial and transportation economics (INDORMIC) and in health and education (LABOURINS). Also, the merger with CEMPRE offers a good opportunity for this unit to benefit from economies of scale and, principally, from better working rules and a reorganization of research programs. The panel has consequently decided to rank the unit as VERY GOOD, while pointing to some negative points:

• The research groups are quite heterogeneous. For instance, there is only one short publication in peer review journals (Economics Letters) for FINEMAN since 2004. Actually, it seems difficult to give sense to this group, with only one relatively active PhD researcher. This is a good example of a research field which should be either revitalized by the integration of active members of CEMPRE or eliminated after the merger.
• There is also some heterogeneity inside each group, with some research leaders and some researchers without good publications. It is not sure that all the group members actually share the same objectives in terms of publications.
• During the presentation some researchers seemed to feel uncomfortable with the merger and to resist to the establishment of more stringent working rules. This is possibly a reason for the panel to encourage the merger.
• There seems to be a difficult relation with the department: researchers are teaching about 12 hours per week all the year, which does not leave much time to research.

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The panel has received in January 2009 the statutes and internal regulations of the new unit (Centre for Economics and Finance at the University of Porto: CEFUP) created by the merger CEMPRE-CETE. The new thematic structure after the merger has 7 research groups: “Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics”, “Financial Economics, Business and Accounting”, “International and Region Economics”, “Growth and Technological Change”, “Microeconomics and Industrial Organization”, “Labour, Health and Education Economics”, and “Schools of Economic Thought, Methodology and Economic History”. This structure makes sense, but it will be the task of the next evaluation panel to assess if it fits the quite sound objective of eliminating outdated research programs. As to working rules, the new internal regulations of the unit establish the principles that “only members actively involved in research and publication are considered Research associates,” and that the funding of members through FCT funds is divided into two equal shares: one corresponding to the minimum amount for individual funding and another distributed according to individual researchers’ points, based on their respective publications over the past three years. Apparently, the merger is being used – as announced – as an opportunity to fix clearer functioning rules and to implement publishing incentive mechanisms.

Sobre os grupos de investigação
FINEMAN [RG-ECO-Norte-Porto-459-1878]
INDORMIC [RG-ECO-Norte-Porto-459-1880]
LABOURINS [RG-ECO-Norte-Porto-459-1881]