Ageing and productivity: Economists and others
Daniel S. Hamermesh 20 February 2013
Publishing in economics is a very tough game, especially for young scholars trying to establish a research record while on a tenure clock. This column discusses new research that shows the age profile of authors in top journals has distinctly shifted away from young scholars. In 1993, half the authors of top-level articles were under 35 and 90% were under 50. Today, only a third are under 35.
Sixty years ago, Harvey Lehman published a path-breaking book examining the lifecycle of productivity in various fields, scientific, humanistic and artistic (Lehman 1953). He demonstrated the now widely accepted conclusion that the contributions of mathematicians and people in mathematics-related disciplines peak very early in their careers. Lehman also showed that artists and humanists in many cases achieved their greatest successes much later in life. How do economists stack up along the age-productivity dimension, and how has that been changing?
Frontiers of economic research Productivity and Innovation
research, technology, economists, academia, age, Nobel