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The Golden Age of Nobel Economists

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  • Hendrik P. van Dalen

Abstract

This paper examines the productivity record of economists who have dominated economic science in the twentieth century, viz. the Nobel laureates in economics. They generally start their career at a young age, they were at the right place at the right time, and they have an independent mind. Their most important and creative contributions are written between the ages of 29 and 38. The average creative age of Nobel economists is slightly below that of laureates in physics, and considerably younger than that of laureates in chemistry and medicine/physiology. The University of Chicago and the US in general has so far turned out to be best breeding ground for original economists. Furthermore, most fundamental work has been written alone and this finding contrasts strongly with the dominant trend in economics where multi-authored publications have become the rule.

Suggested Citation

  • Hendrik P. van Dalen, 1999. "The Golden Age of Nobel Economists," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 43(2), pages 19-35, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:amerec:v:43:y:1999:i:2:p:19-35
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    Cited by:

    1. Jellal, Mohamed & Faria, Joao & Elaoufi, Noureddine, 2012. "Endogenous dynamic academic research culture," MPRA Paper 38711, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Castellucci, Fabrizio & Padula, Mario & Pica, Giovanni, 2011. "The age-productivity gradient: Evidence from a sample of F1 drivers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 464-473, August.
    3. Malgorzata Wachowska, 2014. "Excessive Accumulation Of Knowledge As A Challenge To Science Policy," Equilibrium. Quarterly Journal of Economics and Economic Policy, Institute of Economic Research, vol. 9(3), pages 29-40, September.
    4. Terence tai-leung Chong & Cally Choi & Benjamin Everard, 2009. "Who will win the Nobel Prize?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 29(2), pages 1107-1116.
    5. Michael Rauber & Heinrich W. Ursprung, 2008. "Life Cycle and Cohort Productivity in Economic Research: The Case of Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9, pages 431-456, November.
    6. repec:spr:scient:v:114:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2614-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ho Fai Chan & Ali Sina Önder & Benno Torgler, 2015. "Do Nobel laureates change their patterns of collaboration following prize reception?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 105(3), pages 2215-2235, December.
    8. Besancenot Damien & Faria João R. & Huynh Kim V., 2014. "Congestion of Academic Journals Under Papers’ Imperfect Selection," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(3), pages 1145-1167, July.
    9. Damien Besancenot & Joao Faria & Kim Huynh, 2009. "Congestion in academic journals under an impartial selection process," CEPN Working Papers halshs-00382585, HAL.
    10. Ho Fai Chan & Benno Torgler, 2013. "The Implications Of Educational And Methodological Background For The Career Success Of Nobel Laureates: Looking At Major Awards," QuBE Working Papers 017, QUT Business School.
    11. Arjo Klamer & Hendrik van Dalen, 2001. "Attention and the art of scientific publishing," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(3), pages 289-315.
    12. Benjamin Jones & E.J. Reedy & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2014. "Age and Scientific Genius," NBER Working Papers 19866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Elisabeth Maria Schlagberger & Lutz Bornmann & Johann Bauer, 2016. "At what institutions did Nobel laureates do their prize-winning work? An analysis of biographical information on Nobel laureates from 1994 to 2014," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 109(2), pages 723-767, November.
    14. Frandsen, Tove Faber, 2007. "Journal self-citations—Analysing the JIF mechanism," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 47-58.
    15. Hendrik P. van Dalen & Arjo Klamer, 2005. "Is there such a Thing called Scientific Waste?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-005/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    16. João Ricardo Faria & Damien Besancenot & Andreas J. Novak, 2011. "Paradigm Depletion, Knowledge Production And Research Effort: Considering Thomas Kuhn'S Ideas," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 587-604, November.
    17. Baffes, John & Vamvakidis, Athanasios, 2011. "Are you too young for the Nobel Prize?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(10), pages 1345-1353.
    18. Henseke, Golo & Tivig, Thusnelda, 2007. "Demographic change and industry-specific innovation patterns in Germany," Thuenen-Series of Applied Economic Theory 72, University of Rostock, Institute of Economics.
    19. repec:spr:scient:v:98:y:2014:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-013-0989-5 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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