North American Economists Are Losing Market Share

A new research paper shows that North American economists have lost a lot of market share in research publication to the rest of the world — but mainly to European economists. (Please do note: the paper is a product of IZA, or the Institute for the Study of Labor, located in Bonn.) Researchers Ana Rute Cardoso, Paulo Guimarães, and Klaus F. Zimmermann used data from Econlit (the American Economic Association’s electronic bibliography) and the Social Science Citation Index to compile a set of 100,404 articles across 170 journals to determine where economic research papers were coming from between 1991 and 2006. In that period, they found that North American economists had dropped from producing 66 percent of all econ articles to 45 percent. European economists, on the other hand, rose from 24 percent to 40 percent. Asian economists, small players, tripled their 3 percent to 9 percent. The researchers concluded that while the majority of “influential research” is still coming from North America, international collaborative efforts between European economists are bumping up their numbers in top journals. (HT: Worthwhile Canadian Initiative) [%comments]


What, the world has finally realized it doesn't trickle down?


I believe these trends are true across many disciplines, and I think it would have been even more interesting if the authors had broadened their study to include all of the sciences and not just economics.

Anecdotally, I'm seeing a lot more publishing activity from Asia in my area of expertise (electrical engineering) since I first started reading, reviewing and writing published articles in my field (about 1997). I'm now routinely asked to review submissions from authors who come from universities in China that I've never heard of. There is a large variance in quality of submissions from some of the more obscure places (particularly when the authors are clearly struggling with English, though sometimes the problems are deeper than that). However, overall I would say I've seen a steady improvement in quality of those submissions over the last few years.


Does this mean that our free market economist are unable to compete in the marketplace of ideas? Should we ask the supporters of the free market to provide larger bonuses to our economists to stimulate more thought? Is it really true or is this another subtle form of propaganda from those European socialists.

This must be another crude attempt by foreigners to diminish the "exceptional" excellence of our free market economy.


i went to an economics graduate school in Spain and was very impressed with the research the professors were producing. They were consistently getting published in top journals, getting cited, and some even published their own graduate level textbooks.

They were mostly educated at top US PhD programs and many had teaching experience in US schools.

I think that the school's foundation was a function of these Spanish academics wanting to return to their home country and create an academic environment similar to what they had been around in the US. 25 years ago I think they would have been happy to stay in the US, but today Spain is a much richer country and can maintain institutions that do serious and meaningful research.



Nick Rowe

Here's the link to the Worthwhile Canadian Initiative post HT's above:


European research rockkks !

Toulouse School of Econ (Toulouse, France)
London School of Econ (London, UK)
Erasmus School of Econ (Rotterdam, Netherlands)
Grad School of Econ (Barcelona, Spain)

Elizabeth Brady

A relative recently studied economics at the university in Prague. The prof was from the Austrian School and kept showing John Stossel videos! Yikes!