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  • Thumbnail for The idea epidemic : an analysis of the diffusion of economic disciplines using epidemiological models
    The idea epidemic : an analysis of the diffusion of economic disciplines using epidemiological models by Gurley, Nicole Reier

    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.