Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics


Daniel Sutter on the Near Absence of Math-free Economics Articles

In an EJW article, Daniel Sutter and Rex Pjesky asked “Where Would Adam Smith Publish Today?” Their research shows that an overwhelming share of papers appearing in six leading general journals and four leading field journals are mathematical, with 6% of the papers qualifying as ‘math-free’ by the weakest criterion and only 1.5% by the strongest criterion. Here Sutter talks about the findings, noting that Smith, Keynes, Hayek, and Coase might never have broken through had such conditions held in their time. He suggests that perhaps economics has fallen into a homophily among mathematical researchers, resulting in a narrowing of discourse and methods.

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