nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2017‒02‒26
two papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. A local idea space: the value of personal and thematic proximity in academic research By Lukas Kuld
  2. Rise of Multi-authored Papers in Economics: Demise of the 'Lone Star' and Why? By Lukas Kuld; John O'Hagan

  1. By: Lukas Kuld (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: While recent research has found no strong overall effects between colleagues in university departments, this paper shows a clear link between the success of individual research articles and local colleagues when their research is directly related. Using data from the CVs of around 1,000 academic economists, I study research links between department colleagues and their impact on citations. The novel focus on articles also addresses endogeneity concerns using differences in the scope of the effect for article quality and dissemination by publication type and peer group. The estimates show that articles in top 25 journals that draw on research of local colleagues receive significantly more citations than comparable work by the same authors. Conversely, the co-author network is primarily correlated with low-profile journals and arguably reflect widely the authors' field-specific standing.
    Keywords: Local research cluster, co-author network, tacit knowledge, scientific productivity, academic economic research
    JEL: A14 D83 I23 J24 O31 O32 O33
    Date: 2017–02
  2. By: Lukas Kuld (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin); John O'Hagan (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: The rising incidence of co-authorship has received much attention in recent years especially in the sciences, but has received little attention so far in economics, at least when using large data sets. This paper draws on a very large new data set, covering around 175,000 articles in the top 250 or so economics journals, over the period 1996 to 2014. On the basis of these data several novel insightful charts, adjusted for various factors, are constructed. The incidence of co-authorship by category type (two, three, four-plus authors) is looked at in almost all charts and differences between groups of journals by rank are also explored. Using this framework the following are looked at: co-authorship over time, across countries, citations per paper and per paper per author, length of papers, number of references, frequency of alphabetical ordering of author names and the career profile in terms of co-authorship for 133 top economists, using a specially constructed data set based on detailed CV data. These charts were constructed to throw light on the various explanations posited for the rise in the incidence of co-authorship, and they do so to a surprising extent. In particular, considerable doubt is thrown on the increased specialisation argument, at least as applied to economics. They also throw major doubt on the hypothesis that increased co-authorship can be traced to 'token' acknowledgement for work done of a peripheral nature. It is also argued that several other explanations are not well founded, with the exception perhaps of increased ease of communication and greatly decreased cost of travel. The main explanation though the paper posits could be linked to changing attitudes to the discounting for number of authors by hiring and funding agencies.
    Keywords: Determinants of co-authorship, academic economic research, research specialisation
    JEL: A14 D85 I23 O33
    Date: 2017–02

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