nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2018‒11‒19
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Axventure AB

  1. The Nobel Prize in Economics: individual or collective merits? By José Alberto Molina; David Iñiguez; Gonzalo Ruiz; Alfonso Tarancón
  2. Invisible barriers to the top for female economists By van Dalen, Harry
  3. Tweeting Economists: Antisocial in the socials? By Della Giusta, Marina; Vukadinovic-Greetham, Danica; Jaworska, Sylvia

  1. By: José Alberto Molina (Departamento de Análisis Económico, Universidad de Zaragoza); David Iñiguez (Fundación ARAID, Diputación General de Aragón); Gonzalo Ruiz (Instituto de Biocomputación y Física de Sistemas Complejos (BIFI), Zaragoza); Alfonso Tarancón (Departamento de Física Teórica, Universidad de Zaragoza)
    Abstract: We analyse the research production of Nobel laureates in Economics, employing the JCR Impact Factor (IF) of their publications. We associate this production indicator with the level of collaboration established with other authors, using Complex Networks techniques applied to the co-authorship networks. We study both individual and collaborative behaviours, and how the professional output, in terms of publications, is related to the Nobel Prize. The study encompasses a total of 2,150 papers published between 1935 and the end of 2015 by the laureates in Economics awarded between 1969 and 2016. Our results indicate that direct collaborations among laureates are, in general, rare, but when we add all the co-authors of the laureates, the network becomes more dense, and appears as a giant component containing 70% of the nodes, which means that more than two thirds of the laureates can be connected through only two steps. We have been able to measure that, in general, a higher level of collaboration leads to a larger production. Finally, when looking at the evolution of the research output of the laureates, we find that, for most of those awarded up to the mid-1990s, the production is more stable, with a gradual decrease after the awarding of the Prize, and those awarded later experience a sharp growth in the IF before the Prize, a decrease during the years immediately following, and a new increase afterwards, returning to high levels of impact.
    Keywords: Nobel prize, Economics, research productivity, coauthorship, networks
    JEL: C45 D85 A11
    Date: 2018–10–20
  2. By: van Dalen, Harry (Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management)
    Abstract: In many countries, the academic position of female economists is a very disadvantaged one – and to a far greater degree than is the case in the other social sciences. There seems to be no conclusive answer to the question why this is so, nor is it clear to what extent this also applies to the Netherlands. Is it because of their views on economic matters, because of their values, or has it to do with workplace practices? The publish-or-perish culture affects women far more than men.
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Della Giusta, Marina; Vukadinovic-Greetham, Danica; Jaworska, Sylvia
    Abstract: Economists have often been accused of adopting superior and distant attitudes (Fourcade, Ollion and Algan, 2015). This attributed stance has been variously linked to both poor understanding and traction of economics with the general public, the failure to generate realistic predictions and prescriptions (Coyle, 2012; Bresser-Pereira, 2014), and the lack of diversity in the profession (Crawford et al., 2018; Stevenson and Zlotnick, 2018; Bayer and Rouse, 2016). In this piece we focus specifically on Twitter communications by economists to investigate the ability of economists to fruitfully engage with the public in these networks and the attitudes their language use betrays. We compare economists to scientists, gathering data from the Twitter accounts of both the top 25 economists and 25 scientists as identified by IDEAS and sciencemag, who account for the lion’s share of the Twitter following, collecting a total of 127,593 tweets written between December 2008 and April 2017. Using both network and language analysis our paper finds that although both groups communicate mostly with people outside their profession, economists tweet less, mention fewer people and have fewer Twitter conversations with strangers than a comparable group of experts in the sciences, and sentiment analysis shows they are also more distant. The language analysis of differences in register (a higher register is generally less accessible and thus more distanced) finds that economists use a higher number of complex words, specific names and abbreviations than scientists, and differences in pronoun use reveal they are also less inclusive, all of which adds to distancing.
    Keywords: social media, communication, language, networks
    JEL: A11 A12 D83 D85
    Date: 2018–06–01

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