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I agree with the trend, Pete, and that underscores a more obvious tendency to engage in self-promotion. But I myself must be an outlier here, because I'm uncomfortable playing the self-promotion game.

Your 50-60 citations are not really "poultry" numbers -- I think -- but perhaps they are paltry. At the same time, those aggregate statistics can be misleading. After all, in your case, half of those citations come from you yourself!

Dave,

Thanks for the catch ... though the basic bottom line is same -- chicken **** contributions. And all the figures give self-citations, though obviously when you are getting over 100 the impact of your own work on the numbers is small.

I stand by my initial point made through 15 minutes of searching on line (which means I could be wildly off mark) that we are not making much of an impact in the scholarly world even as measured by the internet, and that compared to even Hayek and Kirzner, and way off the standard set by Buchanan, Coase, North and Olson, let alone Shleifer. We want to aspire to influence the scientific program of economists like Shleifer does, and not like we do at the moment.

Pete

Pete,

I don't think Buchanan meets your test of someone who was influential but did not publish in the top journals after 1975. Look at Buchanan's vita.

"Polluters' Profits and Political Response: Direct Controls versus Taxes" (with G.Tullock), American Economic Review 65(March 1975): 139-47.

"A Contractarian Paradigm for Applying Economic Theory," American Economic Review 65(May 1975): 225-30.

"Markets, States, and the Extent of Morals," American Economic Review 68(May 1978): 364-68.

"The Homogenization of Heterogeneous Inputs" (with Robert Tollison), American Economic Review 71(March 1981): 28-38. As "The Homogenization of Heterogeneous Inputs: Reply," American Economic Review 74(September 1984): 808.

"The Constitution of Economic Policy," American Economic Review 77(June 1987): 243-50. (Nobel Lecture)

"Secession and the Limits of Taxation: Towards a Theory of Internal Exit" (with Roger Faith), American Economic Review 77(No. 5, December 1987): 1023-31.

Now his influence may have come about because of his earlier work, but it is not at all clear that he had difficulty publishing in the AER (or even other top journals) well into his mid 60s. And how many economists continue to publish in the AER after that age?

I have a theory which might partially explain the small number of citations, especially for someone like Block. When refs see that you are citing people considered outside the norm your paper may be discredited, even if the point the person is making is non-controversial. Because of this, authors may choose to cite another source if one is available, or they may get rejected because of citing a controversial figure.

This obviously might not be the only reason, but it may have a long-term impact on the austrian movement as they are not only shut out of the major journals, but even papers that cite them may be shut out, giving them even less name recognition.

I recently attended a seminar where journalists were taught to use Google Scholar to find the most influential thinkers on various subjects, so the lack of citations among Austrian economists might also reduce the exposure of those ideas to the general public as well.

The problem with being a book culture is that it is getting harder to persuade students to read books, especially if they are not going to be examined on the contents. I get the impression that many students think if it is not on the net, it doesn't exist. So we need to master cyberspace, if only to draw attention to the books.

Pete,
I really think this advice will shape my future career. Both as an economist and a follower of the austrian school. I will recall it every time I make a decision.

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