Profiling giants: the networks and influence of Buchanan and Tullock
This paper uses network analysis to measure the position and influence of two prominent academics, James M. Buchanan and Gordon Tullock, founders of Public Choice theory. First, an account of their parallel lives is given. Second, a review of the literature and of the standard centrality measures is provided, insisting on their relevance to assess an author’s importance in a given network. Third, detailing the publication records and, overall, co-authorship networks of the two scholars, their respective influence is analyzed through the lens of network analysis. Their academic genealogy is also explored. It is shown in particular that: (1) Buchanan and Tullock’s careers followed parallel paths and co-founded Public Choice theory and the journal of the same name, although the two had few common works; (2) though being apparently very similar as to their centrality in the co-authoring network under scrutiny, their ego-networks are structured very differently, revealing diverse positions in the field and, thus, different influence on the discipline.
KeywordsBuchanan Tullock Networks Co-authorship Dissertation students Influence Public Choice
JEL ClassificationA14 D85 I23
Without implication, we thank the editors and the reviewers of the journal for stimulating suggestions, as well as Stefan Balev, Bruno Beaufils, Hamza Bennani, Peter Boettke, Hakim Hammadou, Daniel Houser, Fabio Padovano and Yann Secq for useful discussions and remarks, as well as participants in the workshop on “Interdisciplinary approaches on co-authorship and scientific networks” (Le Havre, May 2016). Steven Medema deserves special thanks for his precious help in effectively getting Robert Tollison’s 1991 paper (containing the list of Virginia’s Political Economy Graduate students).
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