Using novel and large-scale data at the individual level, we find that an author publishes more articles when a coauthor joins an editorial board, both in the “coauthor’s” journal and in other journals. This effect is larger, the less experienced the author is, and disappears quickly once the coauthor leaves the journal’s board. Of the hypotheses that we consider to explain these patterns, the signalling hypothesis is a strong contender. It argues that the temporary increase in status of the coauthor improves the plight of the author as it improves the inference that editorial boards make about the author’s underlying quality. Only the favoritism hypothesis can explain that, especially at journals with low board turnover, articles published during a coauthor’s stint on the editorial board receive less citations than articles published during other years.
Joint work with Bauke Visser
Join at http://imt.lu/seminar