Why Do Older Scholars Slow Down?
Using data describing all “Top 5” economics journal publications from 1969-2018, we examine what determines which authors produce less as they age and which retire earlier. Sub-field has no impact on the rate of production, but interacts with it to alter retirement probabilities. A positive, tentative, and contemporary writing style increases persistence in publishing. Authors whose previous work was more heavily cited produce slightly more. Those better-cited with more top-flight publications retire later than others. Declining publication with age arises mostly from habit—there is a very significant increasing positive autocorrelation of publication across the decades of a career.
The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.