Inside Job or Deep Impact? Using Extramural Citations to Assess Economic Scholarship

58 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2017

See all articles by Joshua D. Angrist

Joshua D. Angrist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Pierre Azoulay

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Glenn Ellison

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ryan Hill

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Economics, Finance, Accounting (EFA)

Susan F. Lu

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management

Date Written: August 2017

Abstract

Does academic economic research produce material of scientific value, or are academic economists writing only for clients and peers? Is economics scholarship uniquely insular? We address these questions by quantifying interactions between economics and other disciplines. Changes in the impact of economic scholarship are measured here by the way other disciplines cite us. We document a clear rise in the extramural influence of economic research, while also showing that economics is increasingly likely to reference other social sciences. A breakdown of extramural citations by economics fields shows broad field impact. Differentiating between theoretical and empirical papers classified using machine learning, we see that much of the rise in economics’ extramural influence reflects growth in citations to empirical work. This parallels a growing share of empirical cites within economics. At the same time, the disciplines of computer science and operations research are mostly influenced by economic theory.

Suggested Citation

Angrist, Joshua and Azoulay, Pierre and Ellison, Glenn David and Hill, Ryan and Lu, Susan Feng, Inside Job or Deep Impact? Using Extramural Citations to Assess Economic Scholarship (August 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23698. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3023098

Joshua Angrist (Contact Author)

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Pierre Azoulay

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Glenn David Ellison

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Ryan Hill

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Susan Feng Lu

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management ( email )

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