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dc.contributor.authorMoraga-González, José Luisen_US
dc.contributor.authorvan der Leij, Marco J.en_US
dc.contributor.authorGoyal, Sanjeeven_US
dc.description.abstractThis paper examines the small world hypothesis. The first part of the paper presents empiricalevidence on the evolution of a particular world: the world of journal publishing economistsduring the period 1970-2000. We find that in the 1970's the world of economics was acollection of islands, with the largest island having about 15% of the population. Two decadeslater, in the 1990's, the world of economics was much more integrated, with the largest islandcovering close to half the population. At the same time, the distance between individuals onthe largest island had fallen significantly. Thus we believe that economics is an emergingsmall world. What is it about the network structure that makes the world small? Anexploration of the micro aspects of the network yields three findings: one, the average numberof co-authors is very small but increasing; two, the distribution of co-authors is very unequal;and three, there exist a number of 'stars?, individuals who have a large number of co-authors(25 times the average number) most of whom do not write with each other. Thus theeconomics world is a set of inter-connected stars. We take the view that individuals decide onwhether to work alone or with others; this means that individual incentives should help usunderstand why the economics world has the structure it does. The second part of the paperdevelops a simple theoretical model of co-authorship. The main finding of the model is that inthe presence of productivity differentials and a shortage of high-productivity individuals,inter-connected stars will arise naturally in equilibrium. Falling costs of communication andincreasing credit for joint research leads to greater co-authorship and this is consistent withthe growth in the size of the giant component.en_US
dc.publisher|aCenter for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute (CESifo) |cMunich-
dc.relation.ispartofseries|aCESifo Working Paper |x1287en_US
dc.titleEconomics : an emerging small world?en_US
dc.typeWorking Paperen_US

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