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Is Finance Research a "Normal Science"? A Bibliometric Study of the Structure and Development of Finance Research from 1988 to 2007


  • Utz Schäffer
  • Pascal Nevries
  • Christian Fikus
  • Matthias Meyer


In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008/09, finance research has been criticized for an ineffective allocation of research efforts and a narrowing research focus. We address this discussion via a quantitative analysis of 4,064 articles published in the top four finance journals between 1988 and 2007 depicting the intellectual structure and development of finance research. We find stable structures over time that can be allocated to nine distinct research areas that represent finance research. Within each research area, both core articles and a considerable inflow of new articles exist, allowing for the systematic accumulation of knowledge. Based on our evidence, the intellectual structure of finance research can be characterized as “normal science” (Kuhn (1970)). We find no tendency towards a restricted or narrowing focus.

Suggested Citation

  • Utz Schäffer & Pascal Nevries & Christian Fikus & Matthias Meyer, 2011. "Is Finance Research a "Normal Science"? A Bibliometric Study of the Structure and Development of Finance Research from 1988 to 2007," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 63(2), pages 189-225, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sbr:abstra:v:63:y:2011:i:2:p:189-225

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    Co-Citation Analysis; Finance Research; Financial Crisis; Intellectual Structure; Normal Science.;

    JEL classification:

    • G00 - Financial Economics - - General - - - General
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises


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