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Citations, Age, Fame, and the Web


  • Landes, William M
  • Posner, Richard A


This paper focuses on the role of age in explaining the ranking of legal scholars by the number of citations to their scholarship and the relationship between scholarly and "popular" reputations, with the latter being proxied by the number of "hits" on the World Wide Web or newspaper citations. As predicted by human capital theory, nearly 40 percent of the top 100 legal scholars were between 60 and 86 in 1998. When we turn to popular reputations, we find that compared to really famous people (such as President Clinton and former presidents), top legal scholars are not famous at all. The data also suggest that fame among the larger public is more unequally distributed than scholarly reputation. We use regression analysis to study scholarly and public reputation. We find that being a Supreme Court justice (but not being a judge of any other court) and having had another high government position (such as solicitor general of the United States) has a statistically significant effect on one's public but not scholarly reputation. Overall, we find a small though statistically significant link between scholarly and public reputation. Copyright 2000 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 2000. "Citations, Age, Fame, and the Web," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 319-344, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlstud:v:29:y:2000:i:1:p:319-44

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rubinstein, Ariel, 1982. "Perfect Equilibrium in a Bargaining Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 97-109, January.
    2. Kathryn E. Spier, 1994. "Pretrial Bargaining and the Design of Fee-Shifting Rules," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 197-214, Summer.
    3. Chung, Tai-Yeong, 1996. "Settlement of Litigation under Rule 68: An Economic Analysis," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(1), pages 261-286, January.
    4. Jennifer F. Reinganum & Louise L. Wilde, 1986. "Settlement, Litigation, and the Allocation of Litigation Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(4), pages 557-566, Winter.
    5. Lucian Arye Bebchuk, 1984. "Litigation and Settlement under Imperfect Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 404-415, Autumn.
    6. Anderson, David A, 1994. "Improving Settlement Devices: Rule 68 and Beyond," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 225-246, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gilat Levy, 2005. "Careerist Judges," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(2), pages 275-297, Summer.
    2. Ajiferuke, Isola & Famoye, Felix, 2015. "Modelling count response variables in informetric studies: Comparison among count, linear, and lognormal regression models," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 499-513.
    3. Brinja Meiseberg & Thomas Ehrmann & Jochen Lengers, 2016. "Quality kills the mediastar? Career paths of intellectuals," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 86(9), pages 1043-1066, December.

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