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What is the Media Impact of Research in Economics?



Many research institutions aim to have a strong public impact but little evidence exists on the extent to which research findings reach a wider audience. Using a large sample of studies released in the working paper series of the National Bureau of Economic Research, I identify online coverage of research findings in 6 major news outlets. The analysis shows significant coverage rates in most newspapers in the first month after study release. Overall, about every 11th working paper is covered at least once during this period. I also find that media reporting is correlated with several author and study characteristics. While differences in coverage between most research areas are modest, empirical as well as US-focused studies receive substantially more attention. In particular, widely cited papers are covered more frequently, showing that academic success of studies serves as a strong predictor for wider public impact.

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  • Lennart Ziegler, 2021. "What is the Media Impact of Research in Economics?," Vienna Economics Papers vie2103, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:vie:viennp:vie2103

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Card & Stefano DellaVigna & Patricia Funk & Nagore Iriberri, 2020. "Are Referees and Editors in Economics Gender Neutral?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 135(1), pages 269-327.
    2. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2004. "Maximizing the Substance in the Soundbite: A Media Guide for Economists," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(4), pages 370-382, October.
    3. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2013. "Six Decades of Top Economics Publishing: Who and How?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(1), pages 162-172, March.
    4. Bransch, Felix & Kvasnicka, Michael, 2022. "Male Gatekeepers: Gender Bias in the Publishing Process?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 202(C), pages 714-732.
    5. David Card & Stefano DellaVigna, 2020. "What Do Editors Maximize? Evidence from Four Economics Journals," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(1), pages 195-217, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lusher, Lester & Yang, Wenni & Carrell, Scott E., 2023. "Congestion on the information superhighway: Inefficiencies in economics working papers," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 225(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • L82 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Entertainment; Media

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