Suppose that I've written 10 academic papers. Which CV is the best for academic appointments?
5 publications in mid-high ranked journals, 5 in low ranked (but nevertheless peer-reviewed) journals.
5 publications in mid-high ranked journals, 5 working papers that you disclose on your CV and publish on your website/University profile (assume that these could have been published in low-ranked journals but you chose not to).
5 publications in mid-high ranked journals, 5 papers that you've written that you file draw away when you figure out they you're not going to be able to publish them in a top quality journal (assume that these could have been published in low-ranked journals but you chose not to).
The third dot-point may be unethical, I'm not sure.
Feel free to play with the definition of "mid-high ranked" and "low ranked" in your response.
Feel free to do a scenario analysis where you consider PhD -> postdoc/assistant prof, postdoc/assistant prof -> tenure as separate cases requiring different analysis.
FYI this is for economics/finance/statistics, but also feel free to talk about your own areas where you've had the experience.
I started wondering about this when I came across some extremely high quality working papers that aren't published and that have hundreds of citations. This makes me suspect that the 1st option is not optimal.