Specialization, field distance, and quality in economists' collaborations

Ali Onder, Sascha Schweitzer, Hakan Yilmazkuday

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We analyze economics PhDs' collaborations in peer-reviewed journals from 1990 to 2014 and investigate such collaborations' quality in relation to each co-author's research quality, field and specialization. We find that a greater overlap between co-authors' previous research fields is significantly related to a greater publication success of co-authors' joint work and this is robust to alternative specifications. Co-authors that engage in a distant collaboration are significantly more likely to have a large research overlap, but this significance is lost when co-authors' social networks are accounted for. High quality collaboration is more likely to emerge as a result of an interaction between specialists and generalists with overlapping fields of expertise. Regarding interactions across subfields of economics (interdisciplinarity), it is more likely conducted by co-authors who already have interdisciplinary portfolios, than by co-authors who are specialized or starred in different subfields.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Informetrics
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 18 Oct 2021


  • collaboration
  • Team formation
  • Research productivity
  • specialization


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