The Economics of Economics Blogs

Last week, the World Bank blog Development Impact wrote about the influence of economics blogs on downloads of research papers. It included Freakonomics.com, as well as 5 other blogs — Aid Watch, Chris Blattman, NYT’s Economix, Marginal Revolution, and Paul Krugman. Using stats from Research Papers in Economics, it found spikes after blogs cover a paper. For us, they found that when we blogged a paper, there was an additional 450-470 abstract views and downloads that month. Check out their cool graph:

(Courtesy of Berk Ozler and David McKenzie)

This is part of a series Development Impact is doing on economics blogs. Part Two is on whether a blog increases the blogger’s profile and whether that effects policy. Part Three, just posted on Sunday, measures the causal impact of econ blogs by “using a variety of data sources and empirical techniques, we feel we have provided quantitative evidence that economic blogs are doing more than just providing a new source of procrastination for writers and readers.”

So there you go, from the World Bank itself. Freakonomics.com, changing the world one abstract at a time.

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  1. Tuckster says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  2. Mike B says:

    Someone should now compare the value of the Colbert Bump with the Freakonomics Bump.

    BTW, if Freakonomics provides value to the works that it covers, isn’t it duty bound by the Smithocratic oath to auction off its “slots”? If it doesn’t then it would be contributing to the free rider problem.

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  3. Juan Camilo Cardenas says:

    This makes me wonder if these high visibility blogs will eventually have an impact on academic careers, in the same way journals have in the recent past. Blogs boost the visibility of papers, and the number of downloads and citations in portals such as RePEc or Publish&Perish, which might in turn influence the visibility of a researcher overall. It will be interesting to study the comparative impact of mentions in blogs vs citations in journals on academic careers.

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