Quantifying the Life Cycle of Scholarly Articles Across Fields of Economic Research

30 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2014 Last revised: 31 Jan 2018

See all articles by Maria Victoria Anauati

Maria Victoria Anauati

University of San Andres (UMSA)

Sebastian Galiani

University of Maryland - Department of Economics

Ramiro H. Gálvez

Buenos Aires University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2015

Abstract

Does the life cycle of economic papers differ across fields of economic research? By constructing and analyzing a large dataset that combines information on 9,672 articles published in the top five economic journals from 1970 to 2000 with detailed yearly citation data obtained from Google Scholar, we find that published articles do have a life cycle that differs across fields of economic research (which we divide into the categories of applied research, applied theory, econometrics methods and theory). Applied research and applied theory papers are the clear winners in terms of citation counts. For the first years after their publication, they receive higher numbers of citations per year than papers in other fields of research do. They also reach a higher peak number of citations per year and apparently sustain those peak levels for longer, in addition to being cited over longer periods of time (i.e., they have a longer lifespan). Citation patterns are much less favorable for theoretical papers, which are the object of fewer citations per annum in the first years following publication, have lower peak numbers and a shorter lifespan. Econometric method papers are a special case; the pattern for most of these papers is similar to the pattern for theory papers, but the most successful papers (as measured by the number of citations) on econometric methods are also the most successful papers in the entire discipline of economics.

Keywords: Citation analysis, fields of economic research, life cycle of papers

JEL Classification: A14

Suggested Citation

Anauati, Maria Victoria and Galiani, Sebastian and Gálvez, Ramiro H., Quantifying the Life Cycle of Scholarly Articles Across Fields of Economic Research (August 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2523078 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2523078

Maria Victoria Anauati

University of San Andres (UMSA) ( email )

Vita Dumas 284
(1644) Victoria, Pcia
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1644
Argentina

Sebastian Galiani (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - Department of Economics ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States

Ramiro H. Gálvez

Buenos Aires University ( email )

Figueroa Alcorta 2002
CABA
Buenos Aires, WY 1414
Argentina

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