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Thursday, July 05, 2007

A possible solution to my AER problem

Having gathered the information for every article published in the American Economic Review from 1975 through 2007, I have begun an ad hoc method to determine which issues to keep.

First, I calculated the total number of citations per issue (regardless of when published). The potential problem is that the longer the issue has been around, the more citations it can generate. I thus also calculated the number of citations per issue per year (which ostensibly normalizes by how many years the issue has been around).

Here are extended sample statistics for the 163 issues in the sample:

. sum issuecites citesperyr if lead,d

issuecites
-------------------------------------------------------------
Percentiles Smallest
1% 10 0
5% 45 10
10% 163 11 Obs 163
25% 409 12 Sum of Wgt. 163

50% 766 Mean 797.0245
Largest Std. Dev. 505.4376
75% 1085 1899
90% 1443 2102 Variance 255467.2
95% 1775 2194 Skewness .57584
99% 2194 2396 Kurtosis 3.04535

citesperyr
-------------------------------------------------------------
Percentiles Smallest
1% 1.4 .4230769
5% 14.125 1.4
10% 17.78125 7.590909 Obs 162
25% 35.37037 10 Sum of Wgt. 162

50% 50.91072 Mean 52.69807
Largest Std. Dev. 25.99212
75% 69.55556 106.5294
90% 90.25 111.7273 Variance 675.5901
95% 94.81818 111.7333 Skewness .4519627
99% 111.7333 147.1667 Kurtosis 3.11748


And here are confidence intervals of the two measures:

. ci issuecites citesperyr if lead

Variable | Obs Mean Std. Err. [95% Conf. Interval]
-------------+---------------------------------------------------------------
issuecites | 163 797.0245 39.58893 718.8477 875.2014
citesperyr | 162 52.69807 2.042133 48.66524 56.73089


I took the issues that had more than 1350 cites in total or the number of citations per year was greater than 90. Here's a list of the issues that match these two criteria. The list includes year, volume, issue, total citations for each issue, the citations per year for each issue, and the citations of the most widely cited paper in the issue:

+-------------------------------------------------+
| py vl is issuec~s citesp~r maxcites |
|-------------------------------------------------|
82. | 1975 65 3 1568 49 366 |
405. | 1977 67 2 1775 59.16667 683 |
444. | 1977 67 3 1838 61.26667 1014 |
787. | 1979 69 4 1423 50.82143 404 |
934. | 1980 70 3 2194 81.25926 733 |
|-------------------------------------------------|
1103. | 1981 71 3 2396 92.15385 1109 |
1147. | 1981 71 4 1519 58.42308 315 |
1163. | 1981 71 5 1429 54.96154 413 |
1286. | 1982 72 3 1806 72.24 258 |
1493. | 1983 73 4 1569 65.375 418 |
|-------------------------------------------------|
1599. | 1984 74 2 1354 58.86956 208 |
1620. | 1984 74 3 1883 81.86957 841 |
1798. | 1985 75 2 1405 63.86364 657 |
1828. | 1985 75 3 1615 73.40909 622 |
1999. | 1986 76 2 1899 90.42857 1245 |
|-------------------------------------------------|
2046. | 1986 76 4 1654 78.7619 456 |
2077. | 1986 76 5 2102 100.0952 393 |
2178. | 1987 77 3 1443 72.15 462 |
2199. | 1987 77 4 1362 68.1 375 |
2520. | 1989 79 4 1540 85.55556 519 |
|-------------------------------------------------|
2557. | 1990 80 1 1405 82.64706 200 |
2651. | 1990 80 2 1811 106.5294 171 |
2856. | 1991 81 5 1390 86.875 238 |
2989. | 1992 82 3 1400 93.33334 335 |
3011. | 1992 82 4 1676 111.7333 796 |
|-------------------------------------------------|
3307. | 1994 84 3 1313 101 329 |
3327. | 1994 84 4 1327 102.0769 371 |
3363. | 1995 85 1 1113 92.75 195 |
3602. | 1996 86 2 1043 94.81818 144 |
3618. | 1996 86 3 1229 111.7273 317 |
|-------------------------------------------------|
3748. | 1997 87 2 910 91 175 |
3904. | 1998 88 3 869 96.55556 241 |
4039. | 1999 89 3 722 90.25 204 |
4147. | 2000 90 2 643 91.85714 96 |
4213. | 2000 90 4 653 93.28571 161 |
|-------------------------------------------------|
4298. | 2001 91 2 883 147.1667 151 |
+-------------------------------------------------+

There are 36 issues in this sub-sample, which is bit more than I wanted to keep.

Noting that the measures are still a bit biased towards the older issues, I nevertheless took a look at the papers included in the issues in this subsample. I determined those papers with a citation count within one standard deviation of the most widely cited paper in that issue. Here are the lead author, title (first 50 chars), and total citations for those papers:

+----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| py vl is au1 miniti tc |
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
85. | 1975 65 3 CHRISTENSEN, LR TRANSCENDENTAL LOGARITHMIC UTILITY FUNCTIONS 335 |
104. | 1975 65 3 FAMA, EF SHORT-TERM INTEREST RATES AS PREDICTORS OF INFLATI 366 |
403. | 1977 67 2 STIGLER, GJ DE GUSTIBUS NON EST DISPUTANDUM 683 |
435. | 1977 67 3 DIXIT, AK MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION AND OPTIMUM PRODUCT DIVER 1014 |
776. | 1979 69 4 GRETHER, DM ECONOMIC-THEORY OF CHOICE AND THE PREFERENCE REVER 404 |
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
787. | 1979 69 4 SIMON, HA RATIONAL DECISION-MAKING IN BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS 348 |
928. | 1980 70 3 DEATON, A AN ALMOST IDEAL DEMAND SYSTEM 733 |
942. | 1980 70 3 GROSSMAN, SJ ON THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF INFORMATIONALLY EFFICIENT 640 |
1106. | 1981 71 3 STIGLITZ, JE CREDIT RATIONING IN MARKETS WITH IMPERFECT INFORMA 1109 |
1120. | 1981 71 4 LAZEAR, EP AGENCY, EARNINGS PROFILES, PRODUCTIVITY, AND HOURS 315 |
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
1134. | 1981 71 4 FAMA, EF STOCK RETURNS, REAL ACTIVITY, INFLATION, AND MONEY 277 |
1176. | 1981 71 5 MCDONALD, IM WAGE BARGAINING AND EMPLOYMENT 413 |
1286. | 1982 72 3 AKERLOF, GA THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF COGNITIVE-DISSONANCE 199 |
1288. | 1982 72 3 ETHIER, WJ NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL RETURNS TO SCALE IN THE 258 |
1304. | 1982 72 3 GILBERT, RJ PREEMPTIVE PATENTING AND THE PERSISTENCE OF MONOPO 224 |
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
1493. | 1983 73 4 WILLIAMSON, OE CREDIBLE COMMITMENTS - USING HOSTAGES TO SUPPORT E 418 |
1606. | 1984 74 2 YELLEN, JL EFFICIENCY WAGE MODELS OF UNEMPLOYMENT 208 |
1616. | 1984 74 2 FUDENBERG, D THE FAT-CAT EFFECT, THE PUPPY-DOG PLOY, AND THE LE 173 |
1621. | 1984 74 3 SHAPIRO, C EQUILIBRIUM UNEMPLOYMENT AS A WORKER DISCIPLINE DE 841 |
1807. | 1985 75 2 DAVID, PA CLIO AND THE ECONOMICS OF QWERTY 657 |
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
1822. | 1985 75 3 KATZ, ML NETWORK EXTERNALITIES, COMPETITION, AND COMPATIBIL 622 |
1986. | 1986 76 2 JENSEN, MC AGENCY COSTS OF FREE CASH FLOW, CORPORATE-FINANCE, 1245 |
2036. | 1986 76 4 KAHNEMAN, D FAIRNESS AS A CONSTRAINT ON PROFIT SEEKING - ENTIT 456 |
2059. | 1986 76 5 BAUMOL, WJ PRODUCTIVITY GROWTH, CONVERGENCE, AND WELFARE - WH 393 |
2070. | 1986 76 5 JAFFE, AB TECHNOLOGICAL OPPORTUNITY AND SPILLOVERS OF RESEAR 354 |
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
2184. | 1987 77 3 MANNING, WG HEALTH-INSURANCE AND THE DEMAND FOR MEDICAL-CARE - 462 |
2186. | 1987 77 4 BLANCHARD, OJ MONOPOLISTIC COMPETITION AND THE EFFECTS OF AGGREG 375 |
2526. | 1989 79 4 BLANCHARD, OJ THE DYNAMIC EFFECTS OF AGGREGATE DEMAND AND SUPPLY 519 |
2554. | 1990 80 1 ROGOFF, K EQUILIBRIUM POLITICAL BUDGET CYCLES 200 |
2560. | 1990 80 1 TVERSKY, A THE CAUSES OF PREFERENCE REVERSAL 186 |
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
2561. | 1990 80 1 BOLTON, P A THEORY OF PREDATION BASED ON AGENCY PROBLEMS IN 144 |
2566. | 1990 80 1 FARRELL, J HORIZONTAL MERGERS - AN EQUILIBRIUM-ANALYSIS 181 |
2570. | 1990 80 1 VANHUYCK, JB TACIT COORDINATION GAMES, STRATEGIC UNCERTAINTY, A 180 |
2591. | 1990 80 2 ABEL, AB ASSET PRICES UNDER HABIT FORMATION AND CATCHING UP 171 |
2649. | 1990 80 2 LUCAS, RE WHY DOESNT CAPITAL FLOW FROM RICH TO POOR COUNTRIE 157 |
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
2853. | 1991 81 5 ROTH, AE BARGAINING AND MARKET BEHAVIOR IN JERUSALEM, LJUBL 206 |
2855. | 1991 81 5 FERNANDEZ, R RESISTANCE TO REFORM - STATUS-QUO BIAS IN THE PRES 176 |
2873. | 1991 81 5 ALESINA, A WHY ARE STABILIZATIONS DELAYED 238 |
2989. | 1992 82 3 BOUND, J CHANGES IN THE STRUCTURE OF WAGES IN THE 1980S - A 335 |
3026. | 1992 82 4 LEVINE, R A SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS OF CROSS-COUNTRY GROWTH REG 796 |
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
3297. | 1994 84 3 PERSSON, T IS INEQUALITY HARMFUL FOR GROWTH 329 |
3317. | 1994 84 4 GROSSMAN, GM PROTECTION FOR SALE 371 |
3352. | 1995 85 1 WALSH, CE OPTIMAL-CONTRACTS FOR CENTRAL BANKERS 195 |
3535. | 1996 86 2 BARRO, RJ INTERNATIONAL MEASURES OF SCHOOLING YEARS AND SCHO 144 |
3620. | 1996 86 3 AUDRETSCH, DB R&D SPILLOVERS AND THE GEOGRAPHY OF INNOVATION AND 317 |
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
3691. | 1997 87 2 SALAIMARTIN, XX I JUST RAN TWO MILLION REGRESSIONS 175 |
3900. | 1998 88 3 RAJAN, RG FINANCIAL DEPENDENCE AND GROWTH 241 |
3909. | 1998 88 3 LEVINE, R STOCK MARKETS, BANKS, AND ECONOMIC GROWTH 207 |
4041. | 1999 89 3 FRANKEL, JA DOES TRADE CAUSE GROWTH? 204 |
4042. | 1999 89 3 KAMINSKY, GL THE TWIN CRISES: THE CAUSES OF BANKING AND BALANCE 173 |
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
4114. | 2000 90 2 JOHNSON, S TUNNELING 96 |
4217. | 2000 90 4 BURNSIDE, C AID, POLICIES, AND GROWTH 132 |
4223. | 2000 90 4 FEHR, E COOPERATION AND PUNISHMENT IN PUBLIC GOODS EXPERIM 161 |
4224. | 2000 90 4 GALOR, O POPULATION, TECHNOLOGY, AND GROWTH: FROM MALTHUSIA 126 |
4304. | 2001 91 2 HENRICH, J IN SEARCH OF HOMO ECONOMICUS: BEHAVIORAL EXPERIMEN 151 |

This is an interesting list of papers. Included are several of my favorites, such as Stigler and Becker, Dixit, Yellen, Fudenberg, Lucas, and Sala i Martin.

The list abbreviates in 2001, indicating that no paper since then has been included in an issue that has accumulated 1350 total citations or has been in an issue that has accumulated 90 citations per year. Admittedly, my ad hoc criteria is going to jettison some good issues of the AER that simply haven't had the ability to generate high citation counts because they haven't been around long enough.

On the other hand, the list of papers above includes many (but by no means all) of the seminal papers in various fields of economics including industrial organization, international trade, finance, labor, and public choice/finance. I think the thirty-six issues indicated by my selection criteria are worth the money it will cost to ship them halfway across the country.

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