U.S. and Them: The Geography of Academic Research

38 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016  

Jishnu Das

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Quy-Toan Do

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Karen Shaines

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Sowmya Srinivasan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: December 1, 2009

Abstract

Using a database of 76,046 empirical economics papers published between 1985 and 2004 in the top 202 economics journals, the authors report two associations. First, per-capita research output on a given country increases with the country's per capita gross domestic product (GDP). Regressions controlling for data availability and quality in the country, indicators of governance and the use of English yield an estimated research-GDP elasticity of 0.37; surprisingly, the United States (US) is not an outlier in the production of empirical research. Second, papers written about the US are far more likely to be published in the top five economics journals, even after the quality of research has been partially controlled for through fixed-effects for the authors' institutional affiliations; the estimates suggest that papers on the US are 2.6 percentage points more likely to be published in the top-five journals. This is a large effect because only 1.5 percent of all papers written about countries other than the US are published in the top-five journals. The authors speculate about the interpretations of these facts, and invite further analysis and additions to the public release of the database that accompanies this paper.

Keywords: Information Security & Privacy, Economic Theory & Research, Tertiary Education, Labor Policies, Agricultural Knowledge & Information Systems

Suggested Citation

Das, Jishnu and Do, Quy-Toan and Shaines, Karen and Srinivasan, Sowmya, U.S. and Them: The Geography of Academic Research (December 1, 2009). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper Series, Vol. , pp. -, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1527362

Jishnu Das (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Quy Toan Do

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Karen Shaines

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Sowmya Srinivasan

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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