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The OECD's DAC affirms that the role of external development partners is to enhance developing countries' capacity to meet sustainable development requirements. Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs adopted a strategy of people-centered development in , citing the concept's growing centrality at international development conferences.

It recognized a primary concern of people-centered development — whether or not the benefits of economic growth e. A reduction in exports would allow communities to meet their local needs first. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Categories : International sustainable development Community development. This is tied to broader developments in how we as a society communicate, thanks to the inherent capacity that the Web provides for open, collaborative, and social communication. Many of the suggestions and new models for opening peer review up are geared towards increasing different levels of transparency, and ultimately the reliability, efficiency, and accountability of the publishing process.

These traits are desired by all actors in the system, and increasing transparency moves peer review towards a more open model. The advent of OPR is complex, as the term can refer to multiple different parts of the process and is often used inter-changeably or conflated without appropriate prior definition.

Currently, there is no formally established definition of OPR that is accepted by the scholarly research and publishing community Ford, The most simple definitions by McCormack and Mulligan et al. Ware , p. However, the context of this transparency and the implications of different modes of transparency at different stages of the review process are both very rarely explored. Progress towards achieving transparency has been variable but generally slow across the publishing system.

Engagement with experimental open models is still far from common, in part perhaps due to a lack of rigorous evaluation and empirical demonstration that they are more effective processes. A consequence of this is the entrenchment of the ubiquitously practiced and much more favored traditional model which, as noted above, is also diverse. However, as history shows, such a process is non-traditional but nonetheless currently held in high regard. Practices such as self-publishing and predatory or deceptive publishing cast a shadow of doubt on the validity of research posted openly online that follow these models, including those with traditional scholarly imprints Fitzpatrick, a ; Tennant et al.

Cultural inertia, the tendency of communities to cling to a traditional trajectory, is shaped by a complex ecosystem of individuals and groups. These often have highly polarized motivations i. How and where we inject transparency has implications for the magnitude of transformation required and, therefore, the general concept of OPR is highly heterogeneous in meaning, scope, and consequences. This diversity was distilled into a single proposed definition comprising seven different traits of OPR: participation, identity, reports, interaction, platforms, pre-review manuscripts, and final-version commenting Ross-Hellauer, Table 3 provides an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches to anonymity and openness in peer review.

The ongoing discussions and innovations around peer review and OPR can be sorted into four main categories, which are examined in more detail below. Each of these feed into the wider core issues in peer review of incentivizing engagement, providing appropriate recognition and certification, and quality control and moderation:. How can referees receive credit or recognition for their work, and what form should this take;.

Should referee reports be published alongside manuscripts;. Should referees remain anonymous or have their identities disclosed;. Should peer review occur prior or subsequent to the publication process i. A vast majority of researchers see peer review as an integral and fundamental part of their work Mulligan et al. They often consider peer review to be part of an altruistic cultural duty or a quid pro quo service, closely associated with the identity of being part of their research community. To be invited to review a research article can be perceived as a great honor, especially for junior researchers, due to the recognition of expertise—i.

However, the current system is facing new challenges as the number of published papers continues to increase rapidly Albert et al. Some estimates are even as high as 2—2. Several potential solutions exist to make sure that the review process does not cause a bottleneck in the current system:. Of these, the latter two can both potentially reduce the quality of peer review and therefore affect the overall quality of published research.

Paradoxically, while the Web empowers us to communicate information virtually instantaneously, the turn around time for peer reviewed publications remains quite long by comparison. One potential solution is to encourage referees by providing additional recognition and credit for their work. One current way to recognize peer reviewers is to thank anonymous referees in the Acknowledgement sections of published papers. In these cases, the referees will not receive any public recognition for their work, unless they explicitly agree to sign their reviews.

Generally, journals do not provide any remuneration or compensation for these services. Notable exceptions are the UK-based publisher Veruscript veruscript. Other journals provide reward incentives to reviewers, such as free subscriptions or discounts on author-facing open access fees. Another common form of acknowledgement is a private thank you note from the journal or editor, which usually takes the form of an automated email upon completion of the review.

In addition, journals often list and thank all reviewers in a special issue or on their website once a year, thus providing another way to recognise reviewers. Some journals even offer annual prizes to reward exceptional referee activities e. Another idea that journals and publishers have tried implementing is to list the best reviewers for their journal e.

Digital Medievalist stopped using this model and removed the colophon as part of its move to the Open Library of Humanities ; cf. As such, authors can then integrate this into their scholarly profiles in order to differentiate themselves from other researchers or referees. Currently, peer review is poorly acknowledged by practically all research assessment bodies, institutions, granting agencies, as well as publishers, in the process of professional advancement or evaluation.

Instead, it is viewed as expected or normal behaviour for all researchers to contribute in some form to peer review. These traditional approaches of credit fall short of any sort of systematic feedback or recognition, such as that granted through publications. A change here is clearly required for the wealth of currently unrewarded time and effort given to peer review by academics.

A recent survey of nearly 3, peer reviewers by the large publisher Wiley showed that feedback and acknowledgement for work as referees are valued far above either cash reimbursements or payment in kind Warne, although Mulligan et al. Therefore, one of the root causes for the lack of appropriate recognition and incentivization is publishers with have strong motivations to find non-monetary forms of reviewer recognition. Indeed, the business model of almost every scholarly publisher is predicated on free work by peer reviewers, and it is unlikely that the present system would function financially with market-rate reimbursement for reviewers.

These numbers indicate that the lack of credit referees receive for peer review is likely a strong contributing factor to the perceived stagnation of traditional models. Furthermore, acceptance rates are lower in humanities and social sciences, and higher in physical sciences and engineering journals Ware, , as well as differences based on relative referee seniority Casnici et al.

This means there are distinct disciplinary variations in the number of reviews performed by a researcher relative to their publications, and suggests that there is scope for using this to either provide different incentive structures or to increase acceptance rates and therefore decrease referee fatigue Fox et al.


Any acknowledgement model to credit reviewers also raises the obvious question of how to facilitate this model within an anonymous peer review system. By incentivizing peer review, much of its potential burden can be alleviated by widening the potential referee pool concomitant with the growth in review requests. This can also help to diversify the process and inject transparency into peer review, a solution that is especially appealing when considering that it is often a small minority of researchers who perform the vast majority of peer reviews Fox et al.

The idea here is that by being able to standardize the description of peer review activities, it becomes easier to attribute, and therefore recognize and reward them. The Publons platform provides a semi-automated mechanism to formally recognize the role of editors and referees who can receive due credit for their work as referees, both pre- and post-publication.

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Researchers can also choose if they want to publish their full reports depending on publisher and journal policies. Publons also provides a ranking for the quality of the reviewed research article, and users can endorse, follow, and recommend reviews. Other platforms, such as F Research and ScienceOpen , link post-publication peer review activities with CrossRef DOIs and open licenses to make them more citable, essentially treating them equivalent to a normal open access research paper. ORCID Open Researcher and Contributor ID provides a stable means of integrating these platforms with persistent researcher identifiers in order to receive due credit for reviews.

Exposing peer reviews through these platforms links accountability to receiving credit. Therefore, they offer possible solutions to the dual issues of rigor and reward, while potentially ameliorating the growing threat of reviewer fatigue due to increasing demands on researchers external to the peer review system Fox et al. Whether such initiatives will be successful remains to be seen However, Publons was recently acquired by Clarivate Analytics , suggesting that the process could become commercialized as this domain rapidly evolves Van Noorden, In spite of this, the outcome is most likely to be dependent on whether funding agencies and those in charge of tenure, hiring, and promotion will use peer review activities to help evaluate candidates.

This is likely dependent on whether research communities themselves choose to embrace any such crediting or accounting systems for peer review. The rationale behind publishing referee reports lies in providing increased context and transparency to the peer review process, and can occur irrespective of whether or not the reviewers reveal their identities. Often, valuable insights are shared in reviews that would otherwise remain hidden if not published.

By publishing reports, peer review has the potential to become a supportive and collaborative process that is viewed more as an ongoing dialogue between groups of scientists to progressively assess the quality of research. Furthermore, the reviews themselves are opened up for analysis and inspection, including how authors respond to reviews, adding an additional layer of quality control and a means for accountability and verification.

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There are additional educational benefits to publishing peer reviews, such as training purposes or for journal clubs. Given the inconclusive evidence regarding the training of referees Galipeau et al. At the present, some publisher policies are extremely vague about the re-use rights and ownership of peer review reports Schiermeier, While it describes itself as a service to identify fraud and maintain the integrity of peer review, it remains unclear whether it has achieved these objectives in light of the ongoing criticisms of the conventional process. In a study of two journals, one where reports were not published and another where they were, Bornmann et al.

Furthermore, there was an increased chance that they would result in a constructive dialogue between the author, reviewers, and wider community, and might therefore be better for improving the content of a manuscript. On the other hand, unpublished reviews tended to have more of a selective function to determine whether a manuscript is appropriate for a particular journal i. Therefore, depending on the journal, different types of peer review could be better suited to perform different functions, and therefore optimized in that direction.

Transparency of the peer review process can also be used as an indicator for peer review quality, thereby potentially enabling the tool to predict quality in new journals in which the peer review model is known, if desired Godlee, ; Morrison, ; Wicherts, Assessments of research articles can never be evidence-based without the verification enabled by publication of referee reports. However, they are still almost ubiquitously regarded as having an authoritative, and uniform, stamp of quality.

The issue here is that the attainment of peer reviewed status will always be based on an undefined, and only ever relative, quality threshold due to the opacity of the process. This is in itself quite an unscientific practice, and instead, researchers rely almost entirely on heuristics and trust for a concealed process and the intrinsic reputation of the journal, rather than anything legitimate.

Publishing peer review reports appears to have little or no impact on the overall process but may encourage more civility from referees. However, the responses also indicated that incentives are needed for referees to engage in this form of peer review. Leek et al. On the other hand, the possibility of publishing the reviews online has also been associated with a high decline rate among potential peer reviewers, and an increase in the amount of time taken to write a review, but with a variable effect on review quality Almquist et al.

This suggests that the barriers to publishing review reports are inherently social, rather than technical. Since then, further reflections on OPR Godlee, led to the adoption of a variety of new models. For example, the Frontiers series now publishes all referee names alongside articles, EMBO journals publish a review process file with the articles, with referees remaining anonymous but editors being named, and PLOS added public commenting features to articles they published in More recently launched journals such as PeerJ have a system where both the reviews and the names of the referees can optionally be made public, and journals such as Nature Communications and the European Journal of Neuroscience have also started to adopt this method.

Unresolved issues with posting review reports include whether or not it should be conducted for ultimately unpublished manuscripts, and the impact of author identification or anonymity alongside their reports. Furthermore, the actual readership and usage of published reports remains ambiguous in a world where researchers are typically already inundated with published articles to read.

The benefits of publicizing reports might not be seen until further down the line from the initial publication and, therefore, their immediate value might be difficult to convey and measure in current research environments. Finally, different populations of reviewers with different cultural norms and identities will undoubtedly have varying perspectives on this issue, and it is unlikely that any single policy or solution to posting referee reports will ever be widely adopted.

Further investigation of the link between making reviews public and the impact this has on their quality would be a fruitful area of research to potentially encourage increased adoption of this practice. There are different levels of bi-directional anonymity throughout the peer review process, including whether or not the referees know who the authors are but not vice versa single blind; the most common Ware, , or whether both parties remain anonymous to each other double blind Table 1.

Double blind review is based on the idea that peer evaluations should be impartial and based on the research, not ad hominem, but there has been considerable discussion over whether reviewer identities should remain anonymous e. Models such as triple-blind peer review even go a step further, where authors and their affiliations are reciprocally anonymous to the handling editor and the reviewers. The dotted border lines in the figure highlight this element, with boxes colored in orange representing decoupled steps from the traditional publishing model 0 and the ones colored gray depicting the traditional publishing model itself.

Pre-submission peer review based decoupling 1 offers a route to enhance a manuscript before submitting it to a traditional journal; post-publication peer review based decoupling follows preprint first mode through four different ways 2, 3, 4, and 5 for revision and acceptance. Dual-decoupling 3 is when a manuscript initially posted as a preprint first decoupling is sent for external peer review second decoupling before its formal submission to a traditional journal. The asterisks in the figure indicate when the manuscript first enters the public view irrespective of its peer review status.

While there is much potential value in anonymity, the corollary is also problematic in that anonymity can lead to reviewers being more aggressive, biased, negligent, orthodox, entitled, and politicized in their language and evaluation, as they have no fear of negative consequences for their actions other than from the editor.

Lee et al. In theory, anonymous reviewers are protected from potential backlashes for expressing themselves fully and therefore are more likely to be more honest in their assessments. The transparency associated with signed peer review aims to avoid competition and conflicts of interest that can potentially arise for any number of financial and non-financial reasons, as well as due to the fact that referees are often the closest competitors to the authors, as they will naturally tend to be the most competent to assess the research Campanario, a ; Campanario, b.

There is additional evidence to suggest that double blind review can increase the acceptance rate of women-authored articles in the published literature Darling, Identification also helps to extend the process to become more of an ongoing, community-driven dialogue rather than a singular, static event Bornmann et al. However, there is scope for the peer review to become less critical, skewed, and biased by community selectivity. If the anonymity of the reviewers is removed while maintaining author anonymity at any time during peer review, a skew and extreme accountability is imposed upon the reviewers, while authors remain relatively protected from any potential prejudices against them.

However, such transparency provides, in theory, a mode of validation and should mitigate corruption as any association between authors and reviewers would be exposed. Yet, this approach has a clear disadvantage, in that accountability becomes extremely one-sided. Another possible result of this is that reviewers could be stricter in their appraisals within an already conservative environment, and thereby further prevent the publication of research.

As such, we can see that strong, but often conflicting arguments and attitudes exist for both sides of the anonymity debate see e. Reviewer anonymity can be difficult to protect, as there are ways in which identities can be revealed, albeit non-maliciously. For example, through language and phrasing, prior knowledge of the research and a specific angle being taken, previous presentation at a conference, or even simple Web-based searches.

Baggs et al. Walsh et al. In this case, signed reviews were of higher quality, were more courteous, and took longer to complete than unsigned reviews. Reviewers who signed were also more likely to recommend publication. A randomized trial showed that blinding reviewers to the identity of authors improved the quality of the reviews McNutt et al.

This trial was repeated on a larger scale by Justice et al. These studies also showed that blinding is difficult in practice, as many manuscripts include clues on authorship. Jadad et al. The majority of additional evidence suggests that anonymity has little impact on the quality or speed of the review or of acceptance rates Isenberg et al. Revealing the identity of the reviewer to a co-reviewer also has a small, editorially insignificant, but statistically significant beneficial effect on the quality of the review van Rooyen et al. Authors who are aware of the identity of their reviewers may also be less upset by hostile and discourteous comments McNutt et al.

Other research found that signed reviews were more polite in tone, of higher quality, and more likely to ultimately recommend acceptance Walsh et al. As such, the research into the effectiveness and impact of blinding, including the success rates of attempts of reviewers and authors to deanonymize each other, remains largely inconclusive e. This debate of signed versus unsigned reviews, independently of whether reports are ultimately published, is not to be taken lightly.

Early career researchers in particular are some of the most conservative in this area as they may be afraid that by signing overly critical reviews i. In this case, the justification for reviewer anonymity is to protect junior researchers, as well as other marginalized demographics, from bad behavior. Furthermore, author anonymity could potentially save junior authors from public humiliation from more established members of the research community, should they make errors in their evaluations. These potential issues are at least a part of the cause towards a general attitude of conservatism and a prominent resistance factor from the research community towards OPR e.

However, it is not immediately clear how this widely-exclaimed, but poorly documented, potential abuse of signed-reviews is any different from what would occur in a closed system anyway, as anonymity provides a potential mechanism for referee abuse. The fear that most backlashes would be external to the peer review itself, and indeed occur in private, is probably the main reason why such abuse has not been widely documented.

However, it can also be argued that by reviewing with the prior knowledge of open identification, such backlashes are prevented, since researchers do not want to tarnish their reputations in a public forum. Either way, there is little documented evidence that such retaliations actually occur either commonly or systematically. If they did, then publishers that employ this model, such as Frontiers or BioMed Central , would be under serious question, instead of thriving as they are. In an ideal world, we would expect that strong, honest, and constructive feedback is well received by authors, no matter their career stage.

Yet, there seems to be the very real perception that this is not the case. Retaliations to referees in such a negative manner can represent serious cases of academic misconduct Fox, ; Rennie, It is important to note, however, that this is not a direct consequence of OPR, but instead a failure of the general academic system to mitigate and act against inappropriate behavior.

Increased transparency can only aid in preventing and tackling the potential issues of abuse and publication misconduct, something which is almost entirely absent within a closed system. COPE provides advice to editors and publishers on publication ethics, and on how to handle cases of research and publication misconduct, including during peer review. The Committee on Publication Ethics COPE could continue to be used as the basis for developing formal mechanisms adapted to innovative models of peer review, including those outlined in this paper.

Therefore, the perceived danger of author backlash is highly unlikely to be acceptable in the current academic system, and if it does occur, it can be dealt with using increased transparency. Furthermore, bias and retaliation exist even in a double blind review process Baggs et al. Such widespread identification of bias highlights this as a more general issue within peer review and academia, and we should be careful not to attribute it to any particular mode or trait of peer review.

This is particularly relevant for more specialized fields, where the pool of potential authors and reviewers is relatively small Riggs, Nonetheless, careful evaluation of existing evidence and engagement with researchers, especially higher-risk or marginalized communities e. More training and guidance for reviewers, authors, and editors for their individual roles, expectations, and responsibilities also has a clear benefit here.

One effort currently looking to address the training gap for peer review is the Publons Academy publons. One of the biggest criticisms levied at peer review is that, like many human endeavours, it is intrinsically biased and not the objective and impartial process many regard it to be. Yet, the question is no longer about whether or not it is biased, but to what extent it is in different social dimensions - a debate which is very much ongoing e. One of the major issues is that peer review suffers from systemic confirmatory bias, with results that are deemed as significant, statistically or otherwise, being preferentially selected for publication Mahoney, This causes a distinct bias within the published research record van Assen et al.

Others have described the issues with such an asymmetric evaluation criteria as lacking the core values of a scientific process Bon et al. The evidence on whether there is bias in peer review against certain author demographics is mixed, but overwhelmingly in favor of systemic bias against women in article publishing Budden et al. After the journal Behavioural Ecology adopted double blind peer review in , there was a significant increase in accepted manuscripts by women first authors; an effect not observed in similar journals that did not change their peer review policy Budden et al.

One of the most recent public examples of this bias is the case where a reviewer told the authors that they should add more male authors to their study Bernstein, More recently, it has been shown in the Frontiers journal series that women are under-represented in peer-review and that editors of both genders operate with substantial same-gender preference Helmer et al. The papers were then resubmitted to the journals that had first published them. In only three cases did the journals realize that they had already published the paper, and eight of the remaining nine were rejected—not because of lack of originality but because of the perception of poor quality.

A similar effect was found in an orthopaedic journal by Okike et al. Further studies have shown that peer review is substantially positively biased towards authors from top institutions Ross et al. While there are relatively few large-scale investigations of the extent and mode of bias within peer review although see Lee et al.

This range of population-level investigations into attitudes and applications of anonymity, and the extent of any biases resulting from this, exposes a highly complex picture, and there is little consensus on its impact at a system-wide scale. However, based on these often polarised studies, it is inescapable to conclude that peer review is highly subjective, rarely impartial, and definitely not as homogeneous as it is often regarded.

Applying a single, blanket policy across the entire peer review system regarding anonymity would greatly degrade the ability of science to move forward, especially without a wide flexibility to manage exceptions. The reasons to avoid one definite policy are the inherent complexity of peer review systems, the interplay with different cultural aspects within the various sub-sectors of research, and the difficulty in identifying whether anonymous or identified works are objectively better.

For example, some publishers allow authors to opt in to double blinded review Palus , and others could expand this to offer a menu of peer review options. We expect that, by emphasizing the differences in shared values across research communities, we will see a new diversity of OPR processes developed across disciplines in the future. Remaining ignorant of this diversity of practices and inherent biases in peer review, as both social and physical processes, would be an unwise approach for future innovations.

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One proposal to transform scholarly publishing is to decouple the concept of the journal and its functions e. Some publishers, journals, and platforms are now taking a more adventurous exploration of peer review that occurs subsequent to publication Figure 3. Here, the principle is that all research deserves the opportunity to be published usually pending some form of initial editorial selectivity , and that filtering through peer review occurs subsequent to the actual communication of research articles i.

In addition to the systems adopted by journals, other post-publication annotation and commenting services exist independent of any specific journal or publisher and operating across platforms, such as hypothes. Initiatives such as the Peerage of Science peerageofscience. These tools work based on the same core principles as traditional peer review, but authors submit their manuscripts to the platforms first instead of journals.

The platforms provide the referees, either via subject-specific editors or via self-managed agreements. After the referees have provided their comments and the manuscript has been improved, the platform forwards the manuscript and the referee reports to a journal. While these systems usually cost money for authors, these costs can sometimes be deducted from any publication fees once the article has been published. Journals accept deduction of these costs because they benefit by receiving manuscripts that have already been assessed for journal fit and have been through a round of revisions, thereby reducing their workload.

Yet, it still is in too early a stage to comment on its viability. LIBRE openscholar. At any time, authors can upload an improved version of their article or decide to send it to an academic journal. One of the tools that Open Scholar offers is a peer review module for integration with institutional repositories, which is designed to bring research evaluation back into the hands of research communities themselves openscholar.

Academic Karma is another new service that facilitates peer review of preprints from a range of sources academickarma. To date, arXiv has accumulated more than one million research documents — preprints or e-prints — and currently receives submissions a month with no costs to authors. In other fields, the uptake of preprints has been relatively slower, although it is gaining momentum with the development of platforms such as bioRxiv and several newly established ones through the Center for Open Science , including engrXiv engrXiv.

Manuscripts submitted to these preprint servers are typically a draft version prior to formal submission to a journal for peer review, but can also be updated to include peer reviewed versions often called post-prints. Primary motivation here is to bypass the lengthy time taken for peer review and formal publication, which means the timing of peer review occurs subsequent to manuscripts being made public. However, sometimes these articles are not submitted anywhere else and form what some regard as grey literature Luzi, Papers on digital preprint repositories are cited on a daily basis and much research builds upon them, although they may suffer from a stigma of not having the scientific stamp of approval of peer review Adam, Some journal policies explicitly attempt to limit their citation in peer-reviewed publications e.

In spite of this, the popularity and success of preprints is testified by their citation records, with four of the top five venues in physics and maths being arXiv sub-sections scholar. The overlay journal, first described by Ginsparg and built on the concept of deconstructed journals Smith, , is a novel type of journal that operates by having peer review as an additional layer on top of collections of preprints Hettyey et al.

New overlay journals such as The Open Journal theoj. Peer review is performed easily, rapidly, and cheaply, after initial publication of the articles. A similar approach to that of overlay journals is being developed by PubPub pubpub. PubPub then provides a mechanism for creating overlay journals that can draw from and curate the content hosted on the platform itself. This model incorporates the preprint server and final article publishing into one contained system. ScienceOpen provides editorially-managed collections of articles drawn from preprints and a combination of open access and non-open venues e.

Editors compile articles to form a collection, write an editorial, and can invite referees to peer review the articles. Other examples include bilateral bargaining in the auto-rickshaw market in India [ 38 ] and the curious design of tea auctions in Bangladesh [ 30 ]. Changes in regulation across time or level of implementation often serve as natural experiments to make causal inference about issues of managerial and economic interest. Foster and Gutierrez [ 24 ] evaluate the effects of a voluntary environmental certification program in Mexico on air quality using remotely sensed data. Corruption and lack of enforcement create frictions in doing business in many emerging markets.

Sudhir and Talukdar [ 61 ] find that even though computers enhance retailer productivity, adoption is restrained to avoid transparency to the tax authorities. They find that computer adoption is reduced when corruption is high and enforcement is weak. Not accounting for this motivation to hide from the formal sector underestimates productivity gains from computer technology adoption. Enforcement of copyright infringement laws itself is endogenously related to firms specific factors such as strength of relationships with the government and the common work and educational experience of the brand managers and relevant government officials [ 53 ].

In another example of how corruption can profoundly affect firm behavior, Singh [ 58 ] models corruption arising due to the incentive of the agent to select a non-deserving firm in exchange for bribes. As buyer increases monitoring but not perfectly , suppliers become reluctant to offer bribes, but in equilibrium bribe offers are made only by non-deserving firms; making it more likely that the final supplier is non-deserving.

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Weak legal institutions for dispute resolution restrict arms-length transactions to be among people who have strong relationships outside of the business setting such as between family, friends, or neighbors , allowing for punishments outside the legal system. This is even more important when information asymmetry is great, as in online transaction. Managing the trust deficit to allow for these markets to flourish is therefore important in emerging markets. The online reputation system and escrow service provided by the Chinese online marketplace Taobao [ 15 ], anti-counterfeit devices for pharmaceutical markets [ 10 ] are examples of the private sector filling in the institutional void created by lack of trust between buyers and sellers.

Qian et al. Furthermore, the welfare consequences of increased penetration of new health, agricultural and financial products and technologies that can be facilitated by appropriate marketing is potentially enormous. It is important to recognize two key factors that distinguish the decision making behavior of the poor relative to the middle class.

First, stringent resource and institutional constraints affect product purchase decisions among the poor: in terms of what they buy, how they finance the purchase. Second, the institutional environment and scarce cognitive resources [ 57 ] affect the preferences of the poor. Absent trust and institutional protection, the poor may exhibit greater risk aversion, and social learning through informal networks may become more important. Low adoption of inexpensive, but efficacious products and technologies-- healthier cookstoves, anti-malarial bed nets, vaccines, insurance and savings schemes, and agricultural technologies like fertilizer and high yielding seeds—among the poor has been a major puzzle.

Field experiment based studies of demand indicate that charging even a small price for such products dramatically reduces take-up J-PAL [ 36 ]. Researchers have sought to tease out the precise explanation for this high observed price sensitivity. It could be that the utility from using these products is low which may also be due to lack of information about the potential benefits , or that the poor are liquidity-constrained.

The optimal marketing response is different depending on which explanation is correct. Results from experimental studies generally conclude that liquidity constraints are relevant. It turns out that at very low levels of consumption, the poor household face very high opportunity costs of savings: it is too difficult to save if one has to skip a meal.

Informal risk-sharing networks can also interfere with individual ability to save because of social pressure to share ones income with friends and relatives [ 33 ]. On the supply side, providing formal savings products in rural areas is not financially sustainable because of the high administrative costs of collecting tiny sums of cash at frequent intervals [ 9 ]. In summary, savings, credit, and liquidity constraints are critical for mediating demand for new products among poor consumers in emerging markets, and marketing strategies must be paired with innovations that address these constraints to be successful.

For example, mobile banking through M-PESA in Kenya has been shown to increase transfers between poor households [ 32 ]. The constrained environment in which developing country citizens make purchase decisions can condition their preferences. The resource constraints of the poor require them to pay much closer attention to every financial decision, which in turn makes them more cognitively constrained, leading to more behavioral biases in decision-making [ 57 ].

Research on habit formation and situational habit cues from the psychology literature can be valuable in product design [ 68 ]. Curtis et al. With narrower margins-of-error in decision-making, and in the absence of institutional support to mitigate risk, any inefficient product purchase decision can have more pronounced adverse effects. The poor therefore may appear more risk averse and less willing to experiment with new products [ 12 ]. Credible warranty schemes may be difficult to provide in such environments, leading to greater brand loyalty.

Another distinguishing feature of developing country marketing environments is that credible information about product quality and suitability is difficult to obtain. Consumers are less informed on average; therefore advertising, marketing messages, social learning, and word of mouth become even more critical than in developed countries [ 11 ].

We see examples of this in many domains—health and educational choices [ 46 ], financial decisions [ 14 ], and agricultural investments [ 25 ]. Social networks are important beyond their role in information transmission, as providers of job referrals [ 8 ] or institutions to share risk [ 47 ]. This creates community-wide demand inter-linkages and even strategic complementarities in individual demand functions. This can imply that a community, rather than an individual, is the appropriate marketing target.

We now discuss some methodological issues that become relevant in doing emerging markets research. First secondary data typically available in developed countries may not be available. For example, scanner panel data that is widely available through Nielsen and IRI in the USA and Europe are not yet available in emerging markets, were still a large section of the population shops at mom and pop traditional retailers. Marketing scholars may need to collect primary data e. Alternatively, statistical methods that are appropriate for the limitations of the data need to be developed to answer such questions.

This may prove to be a fertile opportunity for methodological scholars to contribute. This could mean new studies answering substantive questions that might not be feasible in developed countries with data from emerging markets. For instance, participation in experiments can be much cheaper in emerging markets.

Behavioral scholars are already conducting a variety of experiments in the field in emerging markets taking advantage of the lower costs. For example, Ariely et al. Field experiments have been a useful tool in the development economics literature, and we believe such randomized control trials may become more popular in marketing, as the cost of data collection goes down within emerging markets. Several of the studies in the previous sections have a randomized field experiment design.

Market outcomes, however are a result of rich, but subtle interplay of various economic, social, cultural, and institutional factors which are difficult to capture in cross-country specifications. Hence, in the future, we advocate that empirical research in emerging markets and more broadly international research rely on country and industry-specific analysis that models the specifics of the market environment to gain insight into the causal empirical relationships between market characteristics and outcomes.

The approach we advocate is similar to the New Empirical Industrial Organization framework of industry studies that has substantially replaced the Structure-Conduct-Performance framework of cross-industry studies in both Industrial Organization and marketing see [ 37 ]. An imaginative combination of observational and randomized studies can lead to deeper understanding of these markets. Game theoretic models can also be used to generate equilibrium insights into many phenomena that arise in emerging markets.

Recent papers use this approach to address a variety of topics such as competition in corruptible environments [ 58 ], country of origin effects [ 71 ], counterfeiting [ 54 ], and exchange programs [ 19 ]. Fast growth leads to more temporal variation in above market characteristics. Researchers can study characteristic of the new and emerging rich, during their period of transition.

The large share of poor even if low income is an attractive target for marketers of many day to day necessities. Data may be lower quality or more aggregate than available in developed countries. Unique country-specific differences in institutions, market structure, consumer preferences, etc. Cross-country studies should be augmented and complemented by country and industry-specific empirical as well as game theoretic studies that model the richness of each of these markets.

Heterogeneity in the social, cultural, economic, and institutional market environments and the rapid pace of dynamics in the environment expand the scope of variables and inter-relationships that have been traditionally investigated in marketing research. Also, the presence of large segments of poor consumers who face constraints not faced by the middle class provides opportunities to expand theoretical understanding and extend marketing research into the critical areas of social marketing.

Methodologically, we advocate taking advantage of data limitations to create new methods; and also leverage of cheaper data collection opportunities to answer new questions that might be too costly to answer in developed countries. Finally, a transition from exploratory multi-country studies to country-specific studies that model the outcomes as a function of the specific industry or country characteristics to generate deeper insights can be a productive endeavor. Using a range of examples, we have illustrated that a multi-disciplinary perspective drawing from scholarship from development economics, industrial organization, cultural, and social psychology can help lay a rigorous and multi-faceted foundation that encompasses a rich range of research problems in emerging markets.

Such research on emerging markets can help deepen our understanding of markets and marketing. Morgan Stanley Capital International includes 21 countries from Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa in its global emerging market index based on size, liquidity constraints, and market accessibility criteria. The index is widely used by fund managers in constructing ETFs.

Skip to main content Skip to sections. Advertisement Hide. Download PDF. Authors Authors and affiliations K. Research Article First Online: 28 March Emerging markets are large, growing swiftly, and exhibit variation in standards-of-living across their population. Clearly, developed countries such as the USA, UK, and Japan have much higher per-capita incomes than emerging markets in the lower panel of the table. South Korea has had remarkable increases in income over the period of to , and we label it as an emerged economy.

However, the rates of growth during the — period has been much higher for emerging and recently emerged economies, compared with developed countries. Countries like India and China and to a lesser extent Brazil have a significant mass of the poor. Given their large populations, these shares constitute large numbers of people and this segment will remain important consumers of basic goods. Table 1 Key statistics from emerging and developed economies. Source: World Development Indicators a For ; data not available.

First, there is considerable heterogeneity and dynamics in the market environment. Second, emerging market firms and policy makers need to pay much more attention to the large segment of the poor at the bottom of the income pyramid, in addition to the rich and middle class consumers who dominate the developed markets.

Open image in new window. However, the average growth rates across countries, often mask the impressive differences in incomes within countries. The poorest state of Bihar has an average income almost an eighth of the richest state of Goa. In comparison, the per-capita income variation across provinces in China is smaller.

Furthermore, as Fig. The dispersion in incomes also shows up in consumption. As with income, China displays more even ownership patterns, but both countries display wide variation.