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Trends in co-authorship in economics since 1985


  • Cliff Nowell
  • Therese Grijalva


It has been often noted (McDowell and Melvin, 1983; Barnett et al., 1988; Piette and Ross, 1992; Sutter and Kocher, 2004) that the share of co-authored papers in economics has been increasing steadily. The purpose of this study is to investigate some of the theories as to why co-authorship has been increasing in the economics profession. Using data on the publication records of faculty at 129 US colleges and universities that offer doctoral degrees in Economics, Poisson and logit regression models are estimated to explain co-authorship. Results indicate that the likelihood of co-authorship is greater for papers that combine quantitative analysis with another field and for papers published in higher quality journals. Further, co-authorship appears to differ in the many subfields of economics, with the field of Economic History and History of Thought (Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) categories N and B) to be the least likely to co-author and the fields of Financial Economics (JEL category G) and Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics (JEL category Q) to be the most prone to co-authorship.

Suggested Citation

  • Cliff Nowell & Therese Grijalva, 2011. "Trends in co-authorship in economics since 1985," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(28), pages 4369-4375.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:28:p:4369-4375
    DOI: 10.1080/00036846.2010.491458

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    1. repec:taf:apeclt:v:24:y:2017:i:11:p:809-814 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:scient:v:102:y:2015:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1421-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Katharina Rath & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2016. "Recent trends in co-authorship in economics: evidence from RePEc," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(12), pages 897-902, August.
    4. Molina, José Alberto & Alcolea, Alberto & Ferrer, Alfredo & Iñiguez, David & Rivero, Alejandro & Ruiz, Gonzalo & Tarancón, Alfonso, 2016. "Co-authorship and Academic Productivity in Economics: Interaction Maps from the Complex Networks Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 10008, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Andrikopoulos, Andreas & Samitas, Aristeidis & Kostaris, Konstantinos, 2016. "Four decades of the Journal of Econometrics: Coauthorship patterns and networks," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 195(1), pages 23-32.
    6. repec:spr:scient:v:113:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2523-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Vera Sommer & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2017. "Citations, journal ranking and multiple authorships reconsidered: evidence from almost one million articles," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(11), pages 809-814, June.

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