IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Internet and the Structure of Discourse: The Websites of Economists at Harvard and George Mason

  • Daniel J. D'Amico
  • Daniel B. Klein

We investigate the websites of economists at Harvard University and George Mason University. We draw a contrast between the two departments by using Robert Nelson’s distinction between the “scholastic†and the “pietistic†approaches to knowledge and discourse. Scholasticism is hierarchical in structure and tends to produce work that is inaccessible to lay readers. Pietism is “flat†in structure and strives to communicate directly with lay readers. The Internet enables economic discourse in the “pietistic†vein, notably direct communication with the “laity†and other forms of public discourse. From the economists’ material found online, we count and compare publications of various types and the online availability of listed works. The data help to characterize Harvard as relatively scholastic and GMU as relatively pietistic. Our intention is not to criticize Harvard for being too scholastic, nor to celebrate George Mason (our home institution) for being pietistic. Our motivations are simply to advance some ideas about how the Internet might affect economic discourse and to suggest that the extent and forms of web utilization serve as a kind of metric on the scholastic-pietistic continuum.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Econ Journal Watch in its journal Econ Journal Watch.

Volume (Year): 4 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 272-283

in new window

Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:4:y:2007:i:2:p:272-283
Contact details of provider: Postal: Enterprise Hall, Room 354, 4400 University Drive, 3G4 Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: (703) 993-1151
Fax: 703.993.1133
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:4:y:2007:i:2:p:272-283. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jason Briggeman)

The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Jason Briggeman to update the entry or send us the correct address

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.