, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 185-196

First online:

Time series citation data: the Nobel Prize in economics

  • Samuel BjorkAffiliated withWinton Institute for Monetary History, University of Oxford
  • , Avner OfferAffiliated withAll Souls College, University of Oxford Email author 
  • , Gabriel SöderbergAffiliated withUppsala University

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Citation time series are not easy to compile from the most popular databases. The Data for Research service of the JSTOR journal database is a large and high-quality sample of citations, weighted towards humanities and social sciences. It provides time series citation data over many decades, back to the origins of the constituent journals. The citation trajectories of Nobel Prize winners in economics are analyzed here from 1930 to 2005. They are described mathematically by means of the Bass model of the diffusion of innovations. A bell-shaped curve provides a good fit with most prize winner citation trajectories, and suggests that economic knowledge follows the typical innovation cycle of adoption, peak, and decline within scholarly careers and shortly afterwards. Several variant trajectories are described.


Time series Bibliometrics Citation analysis Economics Nobel Prize