Development and Interdisciplinarity: a Citation Analysis
University of Western Australia Economics Discussion Paper 20.07
37 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2020
Date Written: January 15, 2020
Development is often defined as an inherently interdisciplinary field of study. Yet there has been limited examination of this interdisciplinarity. Using Web of Science data, we present citation patterns since 1990 between leading journals of two fields of development, development economics and development studies, and other social science disciplines (economics, geography, political science and sociology). We find negligible interdisciplinary interactions in development, with the bulk of cross-disciplinary citations taking place between development economics, development studies, and economics. There exists an increasing trend since the mid-2000s in the number of citations between development economics and development studies. We explore a number of potential contributing factors and conclude that the most likely explanation is rising numbers of economists publishing in development studies journals in response to increasing relative competition in development economics journals. Notwithstanding, cross-citation rates between the two development fields remain low at two-three percent. Overall, results suggest that development is not an interdisciplinary field of study as measured by flows of citations.
Keywords: Development; Interdisciplinarity; Development Studies; Development Economics; Social Sciences
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