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IDEAS Fantasy League

The IDEAS fantasy league allows you to pretend you are at the helm of an economics department. Your goal is to improve its ranking relative to other departments in the league. You can do this by trading economists and by choosing which ones to activate in your roster.

Start of play

There is no season for play, thus one can enter the league at any time. Upon entering, a new player gets a random allocation of 25 economists drawn from those registered with the RePEc Author Service. The draw pool is constituted of all economists who were ranked the previous month (10-year ranking), with one from each of 25 tranches. Each tranche i is determined by the successive current interval of rankings with intervals of size 50(1.225i-1). The first 20 economists, that is, those currently in the first third of the ranking, get automatically activated. A new player also gets an allocation on 100 utils, the internal currency of the league.


Every player has 30 slots for the virtual department. 25 of them are used with the initial allocation, and up to 20 are activated, that is, up to 20 can count for ranking purposes. From there a player can:
  • Deactivate an economist.
  • Activate an economist (up to 20).
  • Drop an economist, who is then returned to the pool for the initial allocations.
  • Put an economist on the market, setting a minimum price.
  • Withdraw an economist from the market.
  • Bid for an economist on the market.
  • Propose to acquire an economist at a suggested price. This economist needs to be attributed to a virtual department, and its owner is notified of the proposal upon the next login. If agreed, the economist is put on the market.
Note that there is no trading, even with side-payments. Every transaction has to go through the open market, where an economist is listed for 30 days. Bidding follows the rules of a second-price auction at increments of one util, with the current owner setting a minimum price, which is public.


All fantasy departments are ranked every month at the same time the IDEAS/RePEc rankings are updated. The scoring is perfomed in the same way as for real departments: the scores are added over all department members for each criterion, departments are ranked for each criterion, and a harmonic mean of the resulting ranks is computed after removing the department's best and worst ranks. The scoring is using the new 10-year scores (publications of the last 10 years only). The ranking of all fantasy departments is published and available to players only. The virtual ranking had there been no transaction since the initial allocation is also published, to determine whether trading improved things.

Additional details

A few additional details need to be mentioned to take care of particular situations:
  • One can opt out so that one is not being played with. Opting back in is only possible after a one year wait, to prevent this from becoming a strategic move. Someone who opted out cannot play.
  • Beyond what is available in economist profiles and rankings, no additional statistics about economists are revealed.
  • Play will start with a single league. If there is sufficient interest, it may be separated into several leagues and even private leagues.
  • Players need to log into the fantasy league with their RePEc Author Service credentials. A cookie with a one-hour life since last activity is used.
  • A player can choose to play under pseudonym or real name. Rosters are public to players who are logged in and active (see in the rankings page).
  • All trading with utils occurs in integer numbers. One cannot hold debt. Transactions that would lead to negative holdings of utils are automatically voided.
  • Statistics about the distribution of util holdings are provided.
  • Aggregate statistics about transactions are provided.
  • There is no play with deceased economists.
  • When an economist dies, opts out from the economist pool or deletes his/her registration with RePEc, he/she gets automatically replaced with another available economist with the closest ranking. This economist gets automatically activated if the dropped one was activated.
  • Any acquired economist is initially deactivated and needs to be activated to count.
  • No economist gets drawn a second time until all others have been drawn within the relevant tranche.
  • One cannot short an economist.
  • One has to be an active player to see the rankings and rosters.
  • Each player has no more than one team.
  • A player cannot be part of his/her own team.
  • There is no play for real money.
  • All transactions are logged.
  • After six months on inactivity, a player is set to dormant and the team's economists are released to the drawing pool. A dormant player can reactivate his team by performing any transaction, and the economists are then taken again from the drawing pool. Any economist who was in the meanwhile drawn into another team is still put into the reactivated team and remains in the other team.
  • Rules are subject to change, and changes are announced in advance.

The fantasy league closed after almost 10 years. It was fun for some time but participation became too low to justify the maintenance cost. Thanks for participating and enjoy the many other features of the site!

IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.