Magazine article The International Economy

Letters to the Editor

Magazine article The International Economy

Letters to the Editor

Article excerpt

Citation War

To the Editor:

We read with interest "Think

Tanks: Who's Hot and Who's Not" in the September/October 2000 issue but were disappointed. Your readers are missing some important work from other think tanks with comparable -- and even greater -- impact.

Using the author's methodology, two premier economists at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace would easily rank among your top economists. Anders Aslund, a renowned economist who specializes in post-communist economic transformation, received 466 Nexis and Dow Jones cites from July 1997 to June 1999 -- landing him higher than your top-cited economist and alone totaling more than entire organizations in the summary.

Nancy Birdsall, former executive vice president at the Inter-American Development Bank and currently director of Carnegie's Economic Reform Project, also offers impressive stats. With 125 cites from September 1998 (when she started here) to June 1999, she would rank in the top three most cited scholars (not including Aslund).

The report also looked at academic citations from the Social Sciences Citation Index. At 30 citations, Aslund bests IIE's average. Birdsall, with 10 citations during her tenure here, brings our average to 20 -- putting Carnegie Endowment in third place.

And we are confident that when Vito Tanzi, director of fiscal affairs at the International Monetary Fund, begins work at Carnegie this month, our stats will grow even more.

The numbers game is somewhat meaningful, but what's more important are the less quantifiable questions: Who's anticipating the problems of the future? …

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