nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2011‒04‒09
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Keeping Up With Fashion: Recent Trends in the Subfields of Study of Doctoral Students in Economics By Sheng Guo; Jungmin Lee
  2. Evidence of Competition in Research Activity among Economic Department using Spatial Econometric Techniques By J. Paul Elhorst; Katarina Zigova
  3. Kaderschmieden der Wirtschaft und/oder Universitäten? Der Auftrag der Wirtschaftsuniversitäten und -fakultäten im 21. Jahrhundert By Kirchgässner, Gebhard

  1. By: Sheng Guo (Department of Economics, Florida International University); Jungmin Lee (School of Economics, Sogang University)
    Abstract: 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.
    Keywords: Economics Research, Doctoral Dissertation, Journal Publication, Ph.D. Economist, Economics Job Market
    JEL: A11 A14 A20 J44
    Date: 2011–03
  2. By: J. Paul Elhorst (Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Groningen, The Netherlands); Katarina Zigova (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, Germany)
    Abstract: Despite the prevalence of both competitive forces and patterns of collaboration within academic communities, studies on research productivity generally treat universities as independent entities. By exploring the research productivity of all academic economists employed at 81 universities and 17 economic research institutes in Austria, Germany, and German-speaking Switzerland, this study determines whether a research unit’s productivity depends on that of neighboring research units. The significant negative relationship that is found implies competition for priority of discovery among individual researchers, as well as the universities and research institutes that employ them. In addition, the empirical results support the hypotheses that collaboration and the existence of economies of scale increase research productivity.
    Keywords: Research productivity, Competition, Collaboration, Negative spatial autocorrelation, Geo-referenced point data
    JEL: C21 D85 I23 J24 R12
    Date: 2011–03–29
  3. By: Kirchgässner, Gebhard
    Abstract: After a short sketch of the history of modern business schools in the German speaking countries, their four major activity fields are considered: (i) academic teaching, (ii) scientific research, (iii) consulting and (iv) executive education. While teaching was traditionally dominant, research has gained more importance in recent decades, not only in Economics but also in Management departments. With respect to consulting, we have to distinguish between consulting for governments by economists and for private companies by professors of management. Executive education is mainly a domain of management (and law) departments; economists only play a minor role in this area. We conclude with discussing some of the ethical questions with which Economics and Management departments are confronted today.
    Date: 2011–03

This nep-sog issue is ©2011 by Jonas Holmström. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.