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Where Would Adam Smith Publish Today? The Near Absence of Math-free Research in Top Journals

Author

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  • Daniel Sutter
  • Rex Pjesky

Abstract

Using papers published in 2003 and 2004, we measure the extent of math-free research in top economics journals. Of more than 1200 papers published in ten top journals, six percent met a weak criterion of math-free, three percent an intermediate criterion, and only 1.5 percent a strong criterion. General interest journals published more math-free papers than field journals. If Adam Smith were alive today, to survive he would in all likelihood need to learn math. His extensive mastery of literature, history, ethics, and rhetoric would ill-serve his career.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Sutter & Rex Pjesky, 2007. "Where Would Adam Smith Publish Today? The Near Absence of Math-free Research in Top Journals," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 4(2), pages 230-240, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:4:y:2007:i:2:p:230-240
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philip R. P. Coelho & James E. McClure, 2005. "Theory versus Application: Does Complexity Crowd Out Evidence?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 556-565, January.
    2. Scott, Loren C & Mitias, Peter M, 1996. "Trends in Rankings of Economics Departments in the U.S.: An Update," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(2), pages 378-400, April.
    3. Kocher, Martin G & Sutter, Matthias, 2001. "The Institutional Concentration of Authors in Top Journals of Economics during the Last Two Decades," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(472), pages 405-421, June.
    4. Daniel B. Klein, 2005. "The Ph.D. Circle in Academic Economics," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 2(1), pages 133-148, April.
    5. Morgan, Theodore, 1988. "Theory versus Empiricism in Academic Economics: Update and Comparison s," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 159-164, Fall.
    6. Susan Anderson & Peter Boettke, 2004. "The Development Set: The Character of the _Journal of Development Economics_ 2002," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(2), pages 306-318, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:scient:v:103:y:2015:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1522-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:nos:voprec:2017-09-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Geuens, Maggie, 2011. "Where does business research go from here? Food-for-thought on academic papers in business research," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(10), pages 1104-1107, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic methodology; technical research; model building; regression analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • C0 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General

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