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External Influence as an Indicator of Scholarly Importance

Author

Listed:
  • Ho Fai Chan
  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Jana Gallus
  • Markus Schaffner
  • Benno Torgler
  • Stephen Whyte

Abstract

The external influence of scholarly activity has to date been measured primarily in terms of publications and citations, metrics that also dominate the promotion and grant processes. Yet the array of scholarly activities visible to the outside world are far more extensive and recently developed technologies allow broader and more accurate measurement of their influence on the wider societal discourse. Accordingly we analyze the relation between the internal and external influences of 723 top economics scholars using the number of pages indexed by Google and Bing as a measure of their external influence. Although the correlation between internal and external influence is low overall, it is highest among recipients of major key awards such as the Nobel Prize or John Bates Clark medal, and particularly strong for those ranked among the top 100 researchers.

Suggested Citation

  • Ho Fai Chan & Bruno S. Frey & Jana Gallus & Markus Schaffner & Benno Torgler & Stephen Whyte, 2014. "External Influence as an Indicator of Scholarly Importance," CREMA Working Paper Series 2014-17, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
  • Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2014-17
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ho Fai Chan & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Econometric Fellows and Nobel Laureates in Economics," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 3365-3377.
    2. Benno Torgler & Marco Piatti, 2011. "A Century of American Economic Review," Working Papers 2011.27, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2001. "The NBER Patent Citation Data File: Lessons, Insights and Methodological Tools," NBER Working Papers 8498, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bruno S. Frey & Jana Gallus, 2014. "Awards are a Special Kind of Signal," CREMA Working Paper Series 2014-04, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    5. Alston, Richard M & Kearl, J R & Vaughan, Michael B, 1992. "Is There a Consensus among Economists in the 1990's?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 203-209, May.
    6. Ho Fai Chan & Benno Torgler, 2013. "The Implications of Educational and Methodological Background for The Career Success of Nobel Laureates: Looking at Major Awards," CREMA Working Paper Series 2013-13, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    7. Kearl, J R, et al, 1979. "A Confusion of Economists?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 28-37, May.
    8. Friedman, Milton, 1972. "Have Monetary Policies Failed?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(2), pages 11-18, May.
    9. Qiang Wu, 2010. "The w-index: A measure to assess scientific impact by focusing on widely cited papers," Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Association for Information Science & Technology, vol. 61(3), pages 609-614, March.
    10. Lawrence H. Summers, 2000. "International Financial Crises: Causes, Prevention, and Cures," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 1-16, May.
    11. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-858, December.
    12. Frey, Bruno S, et al, 1984. "Consensus and Dissension among Economists: An Empirical Inquiry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 986-994, December.
    13. Leontief, Wassily, 1971. "Theoretical Assumptions and Nonobserved Facts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 1-7, March.
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. External Impact and Ideal Academic Careers
      by David Stern in Stochastic Trend on 2013-10-03 05:00:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Ho Fai Chan & Bruno S. Frey & Jana Gallus & Markus Schaffner & Benno Torgler & Stephen Whyte, 2014. "Do the best scholars attract the highest speaking fees? An exploration of internal and external influence," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 101(1), pages 793-817, October.
    2. Weilong Bi & Ho Fai Chan & Benno Torgler, 2019. "Self-esteem, self-symbolizing, and academic recognition: behavioral evidence from curricula vitae," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 119(1), pages 495-525, April.
    3. Elisabeth Maria Schlagberger & Lutz Bornmann & Johann Bauer, 2016. "At what institutions did Nobel laureates do their prize-winning work? An analysis of biographical information on Nobel laureates from 1994 to 2014," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 109(2), pages 723-767, November.
    4. Zhenbin Yan & Qiang Wu & Xingchen Li, 2016. "Do Hirsch-type indices behave the same in assessing single publications? An empirical study of 29 bibliometric indicators," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 109(3), pages 1815-1833, December.
    5. Ho Fai Chan & Malka Guillot & Lionel Page & Benno Torgler, 2015. "The inner quality of an article: Will time tell?," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 104(1), pages 19-41, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    academia; scholarly importance; role of economics; social importance of economists; external; internal influence; academic performance; awards;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy
    • Z19 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Other

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