Sunday, October 30, 2011

An apparent undersupply of good economics blogs

and curiously few blogs written by female economists.

That's the conclusion reached by Mckenzie & Ozler in a paper tracking the impact of economic blogs. They find that a research paper that is linked to on a popular blog results in a substantial increase in abstract views and downloads, with the bloggers becoming better known and more respected within the profession and also that blogs influence attitudes and knowledge. They also surmise that the reason why more economists don't blog is that even smart and very good economists can't easily do so without embarrassing themselves as the skill sets required are simply very different.

Abstract reproduced below (without permission):
"There is a proliferation of economics blogs, with increasing numbers of economists attracting large numbers of readers, yet little is known about the impact of this new medium. Using a variety of experimental and non-experimental techniques, we try to quantify some of their effects. First, links from blogs cause a striking increase in the number of abstract views and downloads of economics papers. Second, blogging raises the profile of the blogger (and his institution) and boosts their reputation above economists with similar publication records. Finally, we find that a blog can transform attitudes about some of the topics it covers."

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