Viral Economics: An Epidemiological Model of Knowledge Diffusion in Economics
16 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2011
Date Written: September 14, 2011
We model the diffusion of economic knowledge using an epidemiological model of susceptible, exposed, infected, and recovered populations (SEIR). Treating bibliographic citations as evidence of contagion, we estimate the coefficients of a four-equation system simultaneously for each of 759 subfields of economics. Results show that some subfields grow endogenously much faster than others, and just over half have basic reproduction properties sufficient to ensure survival without the annual addition of new protégé scholars.
Keywords: knowledge, diffusion, epidemiology, economics
JEL Classification: O3, A14, B2, I2
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