Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Research teams and research fields of North American economics PhDs, 1980-2014


 

Since North American PhDs are so present and dominant within economics journal publications, it is important to understand the inherent as well as changing publication patterns of their representation.

Together with Ali Sina Onder, we present three main findings:
      
  1.     A trend towards heavier co-authorship;
  2.     Improving teams of women; and
  3.     Increasing share of different fields in publications by North American PhDs.

Share of fields in North American PhDs’ publications








Non-technical Summary
We employ complete publication records from 1980 to 2014 of the population of North American PhDs who graduated between 1970 and 2009. We summarize our observations and contributions in six bullet points: 
  1. Share of single-author papers diminish over time in North American PhDs’ total publications. We further document qualitative shares of different sizes of author-teams and find that coauthored papers get published significantly better than single-author papers throughout the whole sample period. While two-author papers were published better than three-author papers during 1980-1999, three-author papers get published better than two-author papers on average after 2000.
  2. Author-teams containing at least one author who is a graduate of a top thirty department publish significantly better in terms of quantity and quality compared to author-teams of non-top thirty graduates.
  3. Female authors and author-teams including at least one female have an increasing share in total publications over time. We further investigate all-male and female-or-mixed author-teams’ publication quality and compare their output before and after 2000. All-female and mixed-gender author-teams publish significantly less in terms of quantity and quality compared to all-male author-teams during 1980-1999, but we find no significant difference between publication qualities of all-male author-teams and female-or-mixed author-teams after 2000.
  4. Investigating different fields’ shares in total publications, we observe rather little variation in their shares over the course of three decades.
  5. In addition to documenting publication quality differences between all-male and female-or-mixed author-teams, we further document distributions of their publications over different fields. Male authors are proportionally over-represented in microeconomics and macroeconomics, whereas this is the case for female authors in labor economics and development economics. Nevertheless, the average quality of male and female authors’ publications are fairly similar to one another in all fields.
  6. Microeconomics, econometrics, and experimental economics research gets published in higher quality journals, whereas macroeconomics, public economics, industrial organization, finance, health and urban economics, development economics get published in journals that have lower quality weights than the average. Labor and economic history get published significantly better after 2000.





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