Technical appendix to Macrodynamics of economics: a bibliometric history
Claveau, François; Gingras, Yves
Chaire de recherche du Canada en épistémologie pratique
Chaire de recherche du Canada en histoire et sociologie des sciences
Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur la science et la technologie
A history of specialties in economics since the late 1950s is constructed on the basis of a large corpus of documents from economics journals. The production of this history relies on a combination of algorithmic methods that avoid subjective assessments of the boundaries of specialties: bibliographic coupling, automated community detection in dynamic networks, and text mining. These methods uncover a structuring of economics around recognizable specialties with some significant changes over the period covered (1956–2014). Among our results, especially noteworthy are (1) the clear-cut existence of ten families of specialties, (2) the disappearance in the late 1970s of a specialty focused on general economic theory, (3) the dispersal of the econometrics-centered specialty in the early 1990s and the ensuing importance of specific econometric methods for the identity of many specialties since the 1990s, and (4) the low level of specialization of individual economists throughout the period in contrast to physicists as early as the late 1960s.