Marginal Revolution links to this provocative paper by Heckman and Moktan: http://www.nber.org/papers/w25093
From the abstract: "Pursuit of T5 publications has become the obsession of the next generation of economists. However, the T5 screen is far from reliable. A substantial share of influential publications appear in non-T5 outlets."
From the conclusion: "The current practice has weak empirical support if judged by its ability to produce papers that last in terms of citation counts... Academics who impose the T5 standard impose a standard that they themselves do not follow. They primarily publish in, read and cite non-T5 journals, as will the candidates who survive the T5 filter and become tenured faculty. Reliance on the T5 as a screening device raises serious concerns."
Some of the more provocative sections include:
"4.3 The T5 are Not the Journals with the Top Five Impact Factors in Economics"
"5. Openness and Incest"
To what extent is this perceived as a genuine problem by the wider profession? What is the view of those with the power to change things (such as tenure letter writers)? Is there anything that juniors can do about this, and should they? Is the impression correct that this state of affairs is quite unique to economics, and if so, why is this the case?