NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Arthur Robson

Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University
8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA V5A 1S6

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Institutional Affiliation: Simon Fraser University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2016Certified Random: A New Order for Co-Authorship
with Debraj Ray ⓡ: w22602
Alphabetical name order is the norm for joint publications in economics. However, alphabetical order confers greater benefits on the first author. In a two-author model, we introduce and study certified random order: the uniform randomization of names made universally known by a commonly understood symbol. Certified random order (a) distributes the gain from first authorship evenly over the alphabet, (b) allows either author to signal when contributions are extremely unequal, (c) will invade an environment where alphabetical order is dominant, (d) is robust to deviations, (e) may be ex-ante more efficient than alphabetical order, and (f) is no more complex than the existing alphabetical system modified by occasional reversal of name order.

Published: Debraj Ray ⓡ Arthur Robson, 2018. "Certified Random: A New Order for Coauthorship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 108(2), pages 489-520, February. citation courtesy of

 
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