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Reputation versus Influence: The Evidence from Textbook References


  • William Breit

    (Trinity University)

  • John H. Huston

    (Trinity University)


This paper suggests a new tool for evaluating the influence of living economists: references in recent introductory economics textbooks. A distinction is made between influence and reputation. Lists of names generated by standard citation indexes may be useful as a proxy for "reputation." Using references in recent introductory textbooks the authors generate a list of names that deviates in significant ways from lists derived from the Social Science Citation Index. It is argued that textbook references are the better test of an economist's influence. Empirically distinguishing between reputation and influence demonstrates that influence may be and often is distinct from reputation.

Suggested Citation

  • William Breit & John H. Huston, 1997. "Reputation versus Influence: The Evidence from Textbook References," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 451-456, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:eej:eeconj:v:23:y:1997:i:4:p:451-456

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    Citations; Economics; Economists;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics


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