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The Nobel Prize in Economics: individual or collective merits?

José Alberto Molina (), David Iñiguez, Gonzalo Ruiz and Alfonso Tarancón
Additional contact information
David Iñiguez: Fundación ARAID, Diputación General de Aragón
Gonzalo Ruiz: Instituto de Biocomputación y Física de Sistemas Complejos (BIFI), Zaragoza
Alfonso Tarancón: Departamento de Física Teórica, Universidad de Zaragoza

No 966, Boston College Working Papers in Economics from Boston College Department of Economics

Abstract: We analyse the research production of Nobel laureates in Economics, employing the JCR Impact Factor (IF) of their publications. We associate this production indicator with the level of collaboration established with other authors, using Complex Networks techniques applied to the co-authorship networks. We study both individual and collaborative behaviours, and how the professional output, in terms of publications, is related to the Nobel Prize. The study encompasses a total of 2,150 papers published between 1935 and the end of 2015 by the laureates in Economics awarded between 1969 and 2016. Our results indicate that direct collaborations among laureates are, in general, rare, but when we add all the co-authors of the laureates, the network becomes more dense, and appears as a giant component containing 70% of the nodes, which means that more than two thirds of the laureates can be connected through only two steps. We have been able to measure that, in general, a higher level of collaboration leads to a larger production. Finally, when looking at the evolution of the research output of the laureates, we find that, for most of those awarded up to the mid-1990s, the production is more stable, with a gradual decrease after the awarding of the Prize, and those awarded later experience a sharp growth in the IF before the Prize, a decrease during the years immediately following, and a new increase afterwards, returning to high levels of impact.

Keywords: Nobel prize; Economics; research productivity; coauthorship; networks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C45 D85 A11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his, nep-hpe and nep-sog
Date: 2018-10-20
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