Advertisement

Cliometrica

pp 1–39 | Cite as

The long-term evolution of economic history: evidence from the top five field journals (1927–2017)

  • Martina Cioni
  • Giovanni Federico
  • Michelangelo VastaEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

The growing appeal of the long-run perspective among economists and the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of the Conrad and Meyer article (1958), which marked the official beginning of the Cliometric Revolution, have attracted a lot of interest on economic history. This paper explores the long-term development of economic history by analysing all the 6516 articles published in the top five international journals (Economic History Review, Journal of Economic History, Explorations in Economic History, European Review of Economic History and Cliometrica). Our main results are that the Cliometric Revolution took quite a long time to fully display its effects. We show that the conventional wisdom on the current state of the discipline seems a bit too optimistic. Economic history does not seem to be neither more comparative nor more focussed on peripheral countries. The historical periods studied do not change considerably, and the relevance of different topics did not change univocally. Most articles use some econometrics but only a minority feature advanced techniques. Economic history is indeed becoming more democratic, but its boundaries remain limited to the most advanced countries. Articles by authors from Continental Europe increased substantially, while that of North American declined. This change may be the harbinger of a new divergence between the two shores of the Atlantic, possibly related to the rise of a new paradigm, but it is too early to tell.

Keywords

Economic History Cliometric Revolution Top Journal in Economic History 

JEL Classification

N01 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Valeria Battisti, Giulia Cecchetti, Paolo Jonica Nova, Enrico Minnella, Valentina Nanni, Valentina Savelli, Andrea Severini, Federico Terzi, Francesco Tonen, Valeria Vitale, Giorgia Vitucci, Nicolò Zavarise and, particularly, Alberto Montesi, Sara Pecchioli and Stefano Susini for research assistance. We are grateful to Alberto Baccini, Lucio Barabesi, Sara Franceschi, Alessandro Nuvolari, Tiziano Razzolini and Marco Savioli for helpful comments and suggestions. Special thanks are due to Ralph L. Andreano, Larry Neal and Jeffrey Williamson for their useful information. A previous version of this paper has benefited from the comments of all participants at the 8th edition of the EH/tune Workshop held in Siena in November 2018 and at the Riccardo Faini CEIS seminars held in Rome (Tor Vergata) in March 2019. Last but not least, we wish to thank the editor Claude Diebolt and two anonymous referees for their valuable comments. The usual disclaimer applies.

Supplementary material

11698_2019_186_MOESM1_ESM.docx (28.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 29087 kb)

References

  1. Abramitzky R (2015) Economics and the modern economic historian. J Econ History 75(4):1240–1250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Acemoglu D, Johnson S, Robinson JA (2001) The colonial origins of comparative development: an empirical investigation. Am Econ Rev 91(5):1369–1401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Acemoglu D, Johnson S, Robinson JA (2002) Reversal of fortune: geography and institutions in the making of the modern world income distribution. Quart J Econ 117(4):1231–1294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Allen RC (2009) The British industrial revolution in global perspective. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Andreano R (1970) The new economic history: recent papers on methodology. Wiley, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  6. Association of Business Schools—ABS (2018), Academic Journal Guide 2018. (https://charteredabs.org/academic-journal-guide-2018/)
  7. Austin G, Broadberry S (2014) Introduction: the renaissance of African economic history. Econ History Rev 67(4):893–906CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baten J, Muschallik J (2012) The global status of economic history. Econ History of Develop Regions 27(1):93–113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Boldizzoni F (2011) The poverty of clio: resurrecting economic history. Princeton University Press, PrincetonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Boldizzoni F, Hudson P (eds) (2016) Routledge handbook of global economic history. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. Bolt J, Inklaar R, de Jong H, van Zanden JL (2018) Rebasing ‘Maddison’: new income comparisons and the shape of long-run economic development. In: Maddison project working paper n. 10 Google Scholar
  12. Chaunu P (1970) L’histoire sérielle Bilan et perspectives. Rev Hist 243(2):297–320Google Scholar
  13. Cioni M, Federico G, Vasta M (2018) Ninety years of publications in Economic History: evidence from the top five field journals (1927-2017). In: University of Siena, Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia Politica e Statistica WP n. 791Google Scholar
  14. Cioni M, Federico G and Vasta M (2019) The road to success in economic history, mimeoGoogle Scholar
  15. Clark G (2007) A farewell to alms. A brief economic history of the World. Princeton University Press, PrincetonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Comite National de la Recherche Scientifique—CNRS (2017) Categorization of journals in economics and management. Version 5.01Google Scholar
  17. Conrad AH, Meyer JR (1958) The economics of slavery in the Ante Bellum South. J Polit Econ 66(2):95–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cousens SH (1961) Emigration and demographic change in ireland, 1851–1861. Econ History Rev 14(2):275–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Di Vaio G, Weisdorf J (2010) Ranking economic history journals: a citation-based impact adjusted analysis. Cliometrica 4(1):1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Diebolt C (2016) Cliometrica after 10 Years: definition and principle of cliometric research. Cliometrica 10(1):1–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Diebolt C, Haupert M (eds) (2016) Handbook of cliometrics. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  22. Diebolt C, Haupert M (2018a) A cliometric counterfactual: what if there had been neither Fogel nor North?”. Cliometrica 12(3):407–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Diebolt C, Haupert M (2018b). We are ninjas: how economic history has infiltrated economics.In: Association française de cliométrie (afc) working papers no 4Google Scholar
  24. Eloranta J, Ojala J, Valtonen H (2010) Quantitative methods in business history: an impossible equation? Manag Organ History 5(1):79–107Google Scholar
  25. Fabricant S (1950) The state and measurement: the quantitative study of government activity. J Econ History 10:4–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Fishlow A (1961) The trustee savings banks, 1817–1861. J Econ History 21(1):26–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fogel R (1964) Railroads and American economic growth: essays in econometric history. Johns Hopkins Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  28. Fogel R (1989) Without consent or contract. the rise and fall of American slavery. W.W. Norton and Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  29. Fogel R, Elton G (1984) Which road to the past? Two views of history. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  30. Fogel R, Engerman S (1974) Time on the cross: the economics of American Negro Slavery. W.W. Norton and Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  31. Fourie J, Gardner L (2014) The internationalization of economic history: a puzzle. Econ History Develop Reg 29(1):1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Gibson J, Anderson DL, Tressler J (2014) Which journal rankings best explain academic salaries? Evidence from the University of California. Econ Inq 52(4):1322–1340CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hamermesh DS (2013) Six decades of top economics publishing: who and how? J Econ Lit 51(1):162–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hamermesh DS (2018) Citations in economics: measurement, uses and impact. J Econ Lit 56(1):115–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Harte NB (1977) Trends in publication on the economic and social history of Great Britain and Ireland 1925-74. Econ History Rev 30(1):20–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hatton TJ, Persson KG, Zamagni V (1997) Editorial statement. Eur Rev Econ History 1:1–2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Haupert M (2016) History of Cliometrics. In: Diebolt C, Haupert M (eds) Handbook of cliometrics. Springer, Berlin, pp 3–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Heckman JJ and Moktan S (2018) Publishing and promotion in economics: the tyranny of the top five. In: IZA discussion paper No. 11868Google Scholar
  39. Hoffman PT, Jacks DS, Levin PA, Lindert PH (2002) Real inequality in Europe since 1500. J Econ History 62(2):322–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Hyde FH, Parkinson BB, Marriner S (1953) The nature and the profitability of the Liverpool slave trade. Econ History Rev 5(3):368–377CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Kalaitzidakis P, Mamuneas TP, Stengos T (2011) An updated ranking of academic journals in economics. The Can J Econ 44(4):1525–1538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kuld L, O’Hagan J (2018) Rise of multi-authored papers in economics: demise of the ‘lone star’ and why? Scientometrics 114:1207–1225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Landes SL (1958) Reply to Mr. Danière and some reflections on the significance of the debate. J Econ History 18(3):331–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lewis B (1937) The Islamic guilds. Econ History Rev A8(1):20–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lyons JS, Cain LP, Williamson SH (eds) (2007) Reflections on the cliometrics revolution. Conversations with economic historians. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  46. Margo R (2018) The integration of economic history into economics. Cliometrica 12(3):377–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. McCloskey D (1976) Does the past have useful economics? J Econ Lit 14(2):434–461Google Scholar
  48. McCloskey D (1987) Econometric history. Palgrave, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Mitchener KJ (2015) The 4D future of economic history: digitally-driven data design. J Econ History 75(4):1234–1239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Mokyr J (1990) The lever of riches: technological creativity and economic progress. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  51. Mokyr J (2002) The gifts of athena: historical origins of the knowledge economy. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  52. Morgan S, Shanahan M (2010) The supply of economic history in Australasia: the Australian economic history review at 50. Australian Econ History Rev 50:217–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Neal L (1994) Explorations in economic history. In: Simon RJ, Fyfe JJ (eds) Editors as gatekeepers. getting published in the social sciences. Rowman and littlefield publishers, lanham (MD) and London, pp 73–83Google Scholar
  54. Newell WH (1973) The agricultural revolution in nineteenth-century France. J Econ History 33(4):697–731CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. North DC (1981) Structure and change in economic history. W.W. Norton and Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  56. North DC (1990) Institutions, institutional change, and economic performance. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. North DC, Thomas RP (1973) The rise of the western world. A new economic history. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. North DC, Weingast BR (1989) Constitutions and commitment: the evolution of institutions governing public choice in seventeenth-century England. J Econ History 49(4):803–832CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Ojala J, Eloranta J, Ojala A, Valtonen H (2017) Let the best story win—evaluation of the most cited business history articles. Manag Org History 12:305–333Google Scholar
  60. Poelmans E, Rousseau S (2016) Quantifying the heterogeneity of publication cultures in economic business, and financial history. Essays Econ Bus History 34:95–135Google Scholar
  61. Pomeranz K (2001) The great divergence. China, Europe, and the making of the modern world economy. Princeton University Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar
  62. Rosenbloom JL, Sundstrom WA (1999) The sources of regional variation in the severity of the great depression: evidence from U.S. manufacturing, 1919–1937. J Econ History 59(3):714–747CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Rosenthal JL, Bin Wong R (2011) Before and beyond divergence. The politics of economic change in China and Europe. Harvard University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  64. Seltzer AJ (2018) Publication trends and future challenges for the Australian economic history review: a bibliometric analysis. Austr Econ History Rev 58(2):112–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Seltzer AJ, Hamermesh D (2018) Co-authorship in economic history and economics: are we any different? Explor Econ History 69:102–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Sharp P (2013) An interview with prof. Karl Gunnar Persson. the newsletter of the cliometrics society 27(2):14–21Google Scholar
  67. Thomas M (2007) Charles H. Feinstein, interviewed by Mark Thomas. In: Lyons JS, Cain LP, Williamson SH (eds) Reflections on the cliometrics revolution. Conversations with economic historians. Routledge, London and New York, pp 286–300Google Scholar
  68. Wehrheim L (2018) Economic history goes digital: topic modeling the journal of economic history. Cliometrica.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11698-018-0171-7
  69. Whaples R (1991) A quantitative history of the journal of economic history and the cliometric revolution. J Econ History 51(2):289–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Whaples R (2002) The supply and demand of economic history: recent trends in the Journal of Economic History. J Econ History 62(2):524–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Williamson JG (2011) Trade and poverty. When the third world fell behind. MIT Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Wrigley EA (1999) The Review during the last 50 years. Economic History Society. http://www.ehs.org.uk/dotAsset/a9207d87-4533-42a3-9e7e-2ceca7d71bb7.pdf

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SienaSienaItaly
  2. 2.University of PisaPisaItaly
  3. 3. NYU Abu DhabiAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates
  4. 4.CEPRLondonUK

Personalised recommendations