Six Decades of Top Economics Publishing: Who and How?
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.
I thank Jeff Biddle, Ronald Ehrenberg, Andrew Seltzer, Stephen Trejo, participants at several seminars, and especially Janet Currie, Editor of the Journal of Economic Literature,where a published version of this paper will appear. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.