In recent years, there has been increasing interest in what drives the diffusion of knowledge. Recent studies have utilized epidemiological models to track the spread and growth of new academic disciplines. This study quantitatively examines 20 years of publication data in Economics, using modified epidemiological models to find the parameters under which these fields evolve. Looking at the quantitative results for 755 JEL codes, intriguing trends are found in the data. These quantitative outputs provide interesting conclusions not only about specific JEL’s, but also suggest that the characteristics of individuals in a given field can have a significant impact on the development of a field. Specifically, our results indicate that individuals who are charismatic and sociable can have a significant impact on furthering the growth of their discipline.
We model the diffusion of economic knowledge using an epidemiological model of susceptible, exposed, infected, and recovered populations (SEIR). Treating bibliographic citations as evidence of contagion, we estimate the coefficients of a four-equation system simultaneously for each of 759 subfields of economics. Results show that some subfields grow endogenously much faster than others, and just over half have basic reproduction properties sufficient to ensure survival without the annual addition of new protégé scholars.
Recent Wal-Mart openings have been accompanied by public demonstrations against the company’s presence in the community, asserting (among other things) that their presence is deleterious to residential property values. This study empirically evaluates that claim, analyzing the spatial correlation between Wal-Mart locations and residential property values, while comparing Wal-Mart with other big-box retailers for a frame of reference and controlling for other important aspects of a home’s market value. We recognize that market value may represent a trade-off between price and patience, so perform a similar analysis using a property’s days on the market to evaluate any big-box effect. Finally, we interpret the resulting effects in two ways, from both the resident’s and retailer’s point of view, casting new light on the NWIMBY effect.