On the Causal Effect of Fame on Citations

23 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2020 Last revised: 23 Nov 2020

See all articles by Jonathan Brogaard

Jonathan Brogaard

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business

Joseph Engelberg

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Sapnoti Eswar

University of Cincinnati - Department of Finance - Real Estate

Edward Dickersin Van Wesep

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Finance

Date Written: March 31, 2020

Abstract

Papers published in economics journals whose first authors are famous have more citations than papers whose second or third authors are famous. As a paper ages, its citation rate varies most with variation in the fame of the first author and less so with the fame of second and third authors. Author order is alphabetical so these patterns are unrelated to underlying quality. The magnitudes we find are large: a three-author paper written by the most prolific author in economics and his two research assistants would receive, on average, more than double the citations if the prolific author were first rather than second or third. The effect is especially pronounced in three, rather than two, author papers, suggesting that burying a famous author in the “et al” reduces citations even further.

Keywords: Citations, Publication, Measurement, Fame

JEL Classification: J0, J7, Z1

Suggested Citation

Brogaard, Jonathan and Engelberg, Joseph and Eswar, Sapnoti and Van Wesep, Edward Dickersin, On the Causal Effect of Fame on Citations (March 31, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3565487 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3565487

Jonathan Brogaard

University of Utah - David Eccles School of Business ( email )

1645 E Campus Center Dr
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9303
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.jonathanbrogaard.com

Joseph Engelberg

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Sapnoti Eswar

University of Cincinnati - Department of Finance - Real Estate ( email )

College of Business Administration
Cincinnati, OH 45221
United States

Edward Dickersin Van Wesep (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder - Department of Finance ( email )

Campus Box 419
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

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