Specialization, Field Distance, and Quality in Economists' Collaborations
46 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2018 Last revised: 19 Oct 2021
Date Written: October 18, 2021
We analyze economics PhDs' collaborations in peer-reviewed journals from 1990 to 2014 and investigate such collaborations' quality in relation to each co-author's research quality, field and specialization. We find that a greater overlap between co-authors' previous research fields is significantly related to a greater publication success of co-authors' joint work and this is robust to alternative specifications. Co-authors that engage in a distant collaboration are significantly more likely to have a large research overlap, but this significance is lost when co-authors' social networks are accounted for. High quality collaboration is more likely to emerge as a result of an interaction between specialists and generalists with overlapping fields of expertise. Regarding interactions across subfields of economics (interdisciplinarity), it is more likely conducted by co-authors who already have interdisciplinary portfolios, than by co-authors who are specialized or starred in different subfields.
Keywords: Collaboration; Distance; Team Formation; Research Productivity; Stratification; Specialization
JEL Classification: A11; A14; I23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation