Scholarly Influence in a Diverse Legal Academy: Race, Sex, and Citation Counts

Posted: 7 Jul 2001

See all articles by Deborah Jones Merritt

Deborah Jones Merritt

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Abstract

This article explores sex and race differences in scholarly influence by examining citation counts for all 815 professors who began tenure-track positions at accredited U.S. law schools between 1986 and 1991 and who remained on the tenure track in fall 1998. White men averaged significantly more citations than did women and minorities. The differences, however, were modest. Controlling for biographical variables through a series of regression equations, moreover, eliminated the citation gap between white men and both white and minority women, while substantially reducing the gap for minority men. The analyses suggest that most sex and race differences in citation counts are associated with differences in educational background, prestige of the institution at which a professor teaches, teaching assignments, and similar factors. As these differences diminish, already modest gaps in citation counts should decline as well.

Suggested Citation

Merritt, Deborah Jones, Scholarly Influence in a Diverse Legal Academy: Race, Sex, and Citation Counts. Journal of Legal Studies, Vol. 29, No. 1, Pt. 2, January 2000, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=231580

Deborah Jones Merritt (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

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Columbus, OH 43210
United States
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