What is the Media Impact of Research in Economics?

Lennart Ziegler

Many research institutions aim to have a strong public impact but little evidence exists on the extent to which research findings reach a wider audience. Using a large sample of studies released in the working paper series of the National Bureau of Economic Research, I identify online coverage of research findings in 6 major news outlets. The analysis shows significant coverage rates in most newspapers in the first month after study release. Overall, about every 11th working paper is covered at least once during this period. I also find that media reporting is correlated with several author and study characteristics. While differences in coverage between most research areas are modest, empirical as well as US-focused studies receive substantially more attention. In particular, widely cited papers are covered more frequently, showing that academic success of studies serves as a strong predictor for wider public impact.

Department of Economics
No. of pages
Publication date
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
502053 Economics
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