NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Six Decades of Top Economics Publishing: Who and How?

Daniel S. Hamermesh

NBER Working Paper No. 18635
Issued in December 2012
NBER Program(s):   LS

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18635

Published: Journal of Economic Literature, 51(1): 162-72. citation courtesy of

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