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Keeping Up With Fashion: Recent Trends in the Subfields of Study of Doctoral Students in Economics

  • Sheng Guo


    (Department of Economics, Florida International University)

  • Jungmin Lee


    (School of Economics, Sogang University)

We conduct an analysis of recent trends on the subfields of study that doctoral students in economics choose for their dissertations. By investigating data on the JEL classification codes of dissertations reported by the Journal of Economic Literature from 1991 to 2007, we find that the trends in the subfields of study of doctoral dissertations follow those of articles published at five major general-interest journals (American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economic Studies, and Review of Economics and Statistics). In particular, the co-movement pattern is salient in subfields such as Microeconomics (D), Health, Education, and Welfare (I), and Economic Development and Growth (O). Our findings suggest that the fashion exhibited in the top-notch research journals is one of the most influential factors when doctoral students choose a subfield.

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Paper provided by Florida International University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1101.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fiu:wpaper:1101
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  1. John J. Siegfried, 2010. "Report of the Director: Job Openings for Economists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 696-98, May.
  2. Colander, David & Klamer, Arjo, 1987. "The Making of an Economist," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 95-111, Fall.
  3. Michael A. Kelly & Stephen Bruestle, 2011. "Trend Of Subjects Published In Economics Journals 1969–2007," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(3), pages 658-673, 07.
  4. Laband, David N, 1986. "Article Popularity," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 24(1), pages 173-80, January.
  5. John J. Siegfried & Wendy A. Stock, 1999. "The Labor Market for New Ph.D. Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 115-134, Summer.
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