Economics: An Emerging Small World

Posted: 17 May 2006

See all articles by Sanjeev Goyal

Sanjeev Goyal

University of Cambridge

Marco van der Leij

CeNDEF, University of Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute; De Nederlandsche Bank - Research Department

José L. Moraga-González

VU University Amsterdam; University of Groningen


We study the evolution of social distance among economists over the period 1970-2000. While the number of economists has more than doubled, the distance between them, which was already small, has declined significantly. The key to understanding the short average distances is the observation that economics is spanned by a collection of interlinked stars. A star is an economist who writes with many other economists, most of whom have few coauthors and generally do not write with each other.

Suggested Citation

Goyal, Sanjeev and van der Leij, Marco Juri and Moraga-Gonzalez, Jose Luis, Economics: An Emerging Small World. Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 114, pp. 403-412, April 2006. Available at SSRN:

Sanjeev Goyal

University of Cambridge ( email )

Trinity Ln
Cambridge, CB2 1TN
United Kingdom

Marco Juri van der Leij

CeNDEF, University of Amsterdam ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, NL-1018WB
+31 20 525 7356 (Phone)


Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA

De Nederlandsche Bank - Research Department ( email )

P.O. Box 98
1000 AB Amsterdam

Jose Luis Moraga-Gonzalez (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
1081 HV Amsterdam


University of Groningen

P.O. Box 800
9700 AV Groningen, Groningen 9700 AV

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