Discussion paper

DP16676 A Note on the Global Distribution of Authorship in Economics Journals

Using Fontana et al.’s (2019) database, we analyze levels and trends in the global distribution of authorship in economics journals, disaggregating by country/region, quality of journal, and fields of specialization. We document striking imbalances. While Western and Northern European authors have made substantial gains, the representation of authors based in low-income countries remains extremely low -- an order of magnitude lower than the weight of their countries or regions in the global economy. Developing country representation has risen fastest at journals rated 100th or lower, while it has barely increased in journals rated 25th or higher. Fields such as international or development where global diversification may have been expected have not experienced much increase in developing country authorship. These results are consistent with a general increase in the relative supply of research in the rest of the world. But they also indicate authors from developing countries remain excluded from the profession’s top-rated journals.


Rodrik, D and J Greenspon (2021), ‘DP16676 A Note on the Global Distribution of Authorship in Economics Journals‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 16676. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp16676