Who are the most connected economists? Insights from 30 years of data in two academic journals

The Data

  • The American Economic Review, published by the American Economic Association, is a monthly peer-reviewed journal. Digitally available issues date back to 1999, so I extracted data for the past 20 years (2000–2020).
  • The Quarterly Journal of Economics, published by the Oxford University Press. While the journal has made information digitally available dating back to 1890, I only extracted data for the past 30 years (1990–2020).
  • Name 1
  • Name 2
  • Weight of the relationship between Name 1 and Name 2: how many times authors 1 and 2 have collaborated on a published article (of course only within these 2 journals).

Visualizing the Networks

  • Degree: This is how many other authors a given author is directly connected to.
  • Betweenness: This is how many pairs of authors have to go through a given economist to reach each other.
  • Degree: University of Zurich’s Ernst Fehr (connection to 21 authors), MIT’s Daron Acemoglu (connection to 17 authors), and MIT’s Amy Finkelstein (connection to 16 authors).
  • Betweennes: Harvard’s Philippe Aghion (87K pairs of authors go through him), MIT’s Daron Acemoglu (62K pairs of authors go through him) and Stanford’s Peter Klenow (56K pairs of authors go through him).
  • Degree: Harvard’s Philippe Aghion (connection to 22 authors), UC Berkeley’s Emmanuel Saez (connection to 20 authors), and MIT’s Esther Duflo (connection to 19 authors).
  • Betweennes: Harvard’s Philippe Aghion (57K pairs of authors go through him), MIT’s Jon Van Reenen (41K pairs of authors go through him) and Harvard’s Andrei Shleifer (39K pairs of authors go through him).

Putting both networks together

Visualizing Philippe Aghion’s network

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Final Thoughts

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Curious. Passionate about storytelling through data. Interested in Work, Skills and EdTech. Twitter: @KenzaBouhaj

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Kenza Bouhaj

Kenza Bouhaj

Curious. Passionate about storytelling through data. Interested in Work, Skills and EdTech. Twitter: @KenzaBouhaj

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