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External Influence as an Indicator of Scholarly Importance


  • Ho Fai Chan

    (Queensland Behavioural Economics Group (QuBE), School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology)

  • Bruno S. Frey

    (Warwick Business School, University of Warwick and Department of Economics, Zeppelin University and CREMA)

  • Jana Gallus

    (Department of Economics, University of Zurich)

  • Markus Schaffner

    (Queensland Behavioural Economics Group (QuBE), School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology)

  • Benno Torgler

    (Queensland Behavioural Economics Group (QuBE), School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology, and EBS Business School, ISBS, EBS Universität für Wirtschaft and CREMA)

  • Stephen Whyte

    (Queensland Behavioural Economics Group (QuBE), School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology)


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, 2013. "External Influence as an Indicator of Scholarly Importance," Working Papers 2013.87, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  • Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2013.87

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Francesco Bosello & Lorenza Campagnolo & Carlo Carraro & Fabio Eboli & Ramiro Parrado & Elisa Portale, 2013. "Macroeconomic Impacts of the EU 30% GHG Mitigation Target," Working Papers 2013.28, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Brigitte Knopf & Yen-Heng Henry Chen & Enrica De Cian & Hannah Förster & Amit Kanudia & Ioanna Karkatsouli & Ilkka Keppo & Tiina Koljonen & Katja Schumacher & Detlef van Vuuren, 2014. "Beyond 2020 - Strategies and Costs for Transforming the European Energy System," Working Papers 2014.15, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    3. Böhringer, Christoph & Rutherford, Thomas F. & Tol, Richard S. J., 2009. "The EU 20/20/2020 Targets: An Overview of the EMF22 Assessment," Papers WP325, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    4. Valentina Bosetti & Emanuele Massetti & Massimo Tavoni, 2007. "The WITCH Model. Structure, Baseline, Solutions," Working Papers 2007.10, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:scient:v:101:y:2014:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-014-1379-3 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. repec:spr:scient:v:104:y:2015:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-015-1581-y is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Academia; Scholarly Importance; Role of Economics; Social Importance of Economists; External and 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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