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Economic Research Evolves: Fields and Styles

Joshua Angrist (), Pierre Azoulay, Glenn Ellison (), Ryan Hill and Susan Feng Lu

American Economic Review, 2017, vol. 107, issue 5, 293-97

Abstract: We examine the evolution of economics research using a machine-learning-based classification of publications into fields and styles. The changing field distribution of publications would not seem to favor empirical papers. But economics' empirical shift is a within-field phenomenon; even fields that traditionally emphasize theory have gotten more empirical. Empirical work has also come to be more cited than theoretical work. The citation shift is sharpened when citations are weighted by journal importance. Regression analyses of citations per paper show empirical publications reaching citation parity with theoretical publications around 2000. Within fields and journals, however, empirical work is now cited more.

JEL-codes: A11 A14 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.p20171117
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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:5:p:293-97