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What have economists been doing for the last 50 years? A text analysis of published academic research from 1960-2010

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  • Kosnik, Lea-Rachel

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a text based exploratory study of over 20,000 academic articles published in seven top research journals from 1960 - 2010. The goal is to investigate the general research foci of economists over the last fifty years, how (if at all) they have changed over time, and what trends (if any) can be discerned from a broad body of the top academic research in the field. Of the 19 JEL-code based fields studied in the literature, most have retained a constant level of attention over the time period of this study, however, a notable exception is that of macroeconomics which has undergone a significantly diminishing level of research attention in the last couple of decades, across all the journals under study; at the same time, the "microfoundations" of macroeconomic papers appears to be increasing. Other results on co-authorship trends and depth of research articles are also presented.

Suggested Citation

  • Kosnik, Lea-Rachel, 2015. "What have economists been doing for the last 50 years? A text analysis of published academic research from 1960-2010," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 9, pages 1-38.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:201513
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2015-13
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Katharina Rath & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2016. "Recent trends in co-authorship in economics: evidence from RePEc," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 897-902.
    2. Zacchia, Giulia, 2016. "Segregation or homologation? Gender differences in recent Italian economic thought," MPRA Paper 72279, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Katharina Rath & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2016. "Trends in economics publications represented by JEL categories between 2007 and 2013," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(9), pages 660-663, June.
    4. Katharina Rath & Klaus Wohlrabe, 2015. "Koautorenschaft in der Volkswirtschaftslehre," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 68(16), pages 51-53, August.
    5. Lea Kosnik, 2016. "JEL Codes: What Do They Mean and Are They Used Consistently?," Working Papers 1011, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Department of Economics.
    6. Allen Bellas & Lea Kosnik, 2016. "Which Leading Journal Leads? Idea Diffusion in Economics Research Journals," Working Papers 1013, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    text analysis; economics research; research diversity; topic analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology

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