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JEL Codes: What Do They Mean and Are They Used Consistently?

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  • Lea Kosnik

    () (Department of Economics, University of Missouri-St. Louis)

Abstract

The use and prevalence of JEL code categorization is wide in the field of economics, but what do JEL code classifications actually tell us? And are they used with consistency by academics in the field? Utilizing a dataset of articles published in the American Economic Review from 1990-2008, we investigate whether there is heterogeneity in JEL codes assignments between authors and editors. We find that there is. A secondary goal of this paper is to survey overall thematic trends in JEL code usage over the past four and a half decades. One result is that JEL category M: Business Economics, in particular, appears to be thematically and spatially distinct from much of the rest of the published literature in the top general interest journals in the field.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:msl:workng:1011
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    File URL: http://www.umsl.edu/~econ/Research/msl/workng/KosnikJELCodesDraftPaper.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Lea-Rachel Kosnik, 2016. "In Tandem Or Out Of Sync? Academic Economics Research And Public Policy Measures," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(1), pages 190-202, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:aea:jeclit:v:56:y:2018:i:1:p:115-56 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Andersson, Martin & Rohne Till, Emelie, 2017. "Between the Engine and the Fifth Wheel: An Analytical Survey of the Shifting Roles of Agriculture in Development Theory," Lund Papers in Economic History 163, Lund University, Department of Economic History.
    3. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2018. "Citations in Economics: Measurement, Uses, and Impacts," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(1), pages 115-156, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    text analysis; JEL code; economics research; economics literature; thematic analysis.;

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
    • B0 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General

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