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Six Decades of Top Economics Publishing: Who and How?

  • Daniel S. Hamermesh

Presenting data on all full-length articles published in the three top general economics journals for one year in each of the 1960s through 2010s, I analyze how patterns of co-authorship, age structure and methodology have changed, and what the possible causes of these changes may have been. The entire distribution of number of authors has shifted steadily rightward. In the last two decades the fraction of older authors has almost quadrupled. The top journals are now publishing many fewer papers that represent pure theory, regardless of sub-field, somewhat less empirical work based on publicly available data sets, and many more empirical studies based on data assembled for the study by the author(s) or on laboratory or field experiments.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18635.

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Date of creation: Dec 2012
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Publication status: published as Journal of Economic Literature, 51(1): 162-72.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18635
Note: LS
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  1. Charles E. Scott & John J. Siegfried, 2014. "American Economic Association Universal Academic Questionnaire Summary Statistics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 603-07, May.
  2. Glenn Ellison, 2011. "Is Peer Review In Decline?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(3), pages 635-657, 07.
  3. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Sharon M. Oster, 2002. "Tools or Toys? The Impact of High Technology on Scholarly Productivity," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(4), pages 539-555, October.
  4. Benjamin F. Jones, 2005. "The Burden of Knowledge and the 'Death of the Renaissance Man': Is Innovation Getting Harder?," NBER Working Papers 11360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Boschini, Anne & Sjögren, Anna, 2006. "Is Team Formation Gender Neutral? Evidence from Coauthorship Patterns," Working Paper Series 658, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. Donna K. Ginther & Shulamit Kahn, 2004. "Women in Economics: Moving Up or Falling Off the Academic Career Ladder?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 193-214, Summer.
  7. Matthias Krapf, 2012. "Age and Complementarity in Scientific Collaboration," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2012-18, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
  8. Bruce A. Weinberg & David W. Galenson, 2005. "Creative Careers: The Life Cycles of Nobel Laureates in Economics," NBER Working Papers 11799, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Steven G. Medema & Warren J. Samuels (ed.), 1996. "Foundations of Research in Economics: How do Economists do Economics?," Books, Edward Elgar, number 899, July.
  10. Glenn Ellison, 2000. "The Slowdown of the Economics Publishing Process," NBER Working Papers 7804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Hollis, Aidan, 2001. "Co-authorship and the output of academic economists," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 503-530, September.
  12. Sauer, Raymond D, 1988. "Estimates of the Returns to Quality and Coauthorship in Economic Academia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 855-66, August.
  13. McDowell, John M & Melvin, Michael, 1983. "The Determinants of Co-Authorship: An Analysis of the Economics Literature," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 65(1), pages 155-60, February.
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