Academic journal article American Economist

Influential Macromonetary Publications and Economists

Academic journal article American Economist

Influential Macromonetary Publications and Economists

Article excerpt

I. Introduction

A number of different methods have been devised to measure influence in the economics profession. We develop a rarely used approach in this paper for assessment or ranking of contributions to the macromonetary literature. The technique is based on the revealed preference of faculty members from the top economics departments in the United States.

The syllabi of all faculty of the top twenty-five economics departments teaching graduate macromonetary courses were obtained. Publication frequency across syllabi determined the most influential articles, textbooks, journals, and economists in the macromonetary field. Although the syllabi were gathered as of a point in time, the potential for influence spans generations from current faculty to current students to future faculty members.

In this paper, the introduction is followed by a brief survey of the literature, the methodology, and the results. The paper concludes with summary comments about this approach and its findings.

II. Earlier Studies and Implications

A recent paper by Coupe (2003) provided an initial overview of the alternatives available to those who endeavor to generate economics rankings. In his particular case, the rankings of economists and economic departments, Coupe determined 14 different methodologies available for the alternatives of article count, page count, and citation count. As a result, he obtained four different rankings for departments alone. Similarly, Dusansky and Vernon (1998) examined eight rankings of departments based on four alternative approaches.

Rankings in economics began in earnest in the early 1970s with a primary focus on economics journals. A.W. Coats (1971) related citations from major AEA survey volumes to articles published by ten different journals. Three different approaches to ranking journals made their way into issues of the Western Economic Journal in 1972. Of these, Moore associated journal quality with economists' institutional affiliations; Billings and Viksnins employed a variation of the citation method; Skeels and Taylor, in setting the stage for the current study, ranked journals based on articles from graduate school syllabi that appeared in the American Economist over a nine-year period.

Hawkins, Ritter, and Walter (1973) assessed journal quality by way of economists' responses to questionnaires. Liebowitz and Palmer (1984), advancing the citation technique employed by Bush, Hamelman, and Staaf (1974), produced one of the better-known journal ranking studies for the Journal of Economic Literature (JEL). A decade later, Laband and Piette (1994) generated a follow-up paper for the JEL using virtually the same citation methodology, adjusting for journal output and dropping non-economic journals from the citation list.

Since that time, numerous citation-based ranking articles have appeared. Among the more recent ones: Liner and Amin (2004) compared journal-to-journal citation methods in ranking international journals; Kalaitzidakis, Mamuneas and Stengos (2003) developed a citation approach for articles published 1994-98 that adjusted for impact and size and excluded self-citations, permitting them to rank international journals and institutions (departments). Palacios-Huerta and Volij (2004) developed a model, called the Invariant method, with superior Eigenvector properties to other competitive citation approaches in order to rank journals and economists; (1) Kim, Morse and Zingales (2006) analyzed those 146 articles published 1970-2005 (by half-decade) that received more than 500 citations in order to infer trend changes among journals, economic fields, and institutions, and Kodrzycki and Yu (2006) duplicated the citation approach of Palacios-Huerta and Volij in order to shift the measurement of influence from within economics to journal ranking of impact across the broader spectrum of social sciences.

Most of these articles mentioned, if only briefly, the challenges faced in developing a particular approach to the use of citations as a measurement of quality. …

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