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Is economic history changing its nature? Evidence from top journals
April 3, 2024  


Martina Cioni, Giovanni Federico & Michelangelo Vasta


A recent stream of literature argues that economic history is expanding its aim of looking for the historical roots of current outcomes (persistence studies) and that it is increasingly integrating with economics. This paper tests these claims with a new database of about 2500 articles published from 2001 to 2018 in the top five economic history journals and in eight leading economics journals. Our results do not confirm this optimistic narrative. Despite a growing interest by economists, economic history and a fortiori persistence studies are still marginal in economics journals. Furthermore, substantial differences between articles in the two groups of outlets are visible. Only a few authors have published in both economics and economic history journals. Publishing in the top five economics journals yields more citations than in top-field journals, but this is not necessarily true for other prestigious economics journals.

Published on Cliometrica 17, 23–48 (2023).

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Institute of European Civilazation