Academic in-group bias in the top five economics journals

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This paper studies academic in-group bias in the top five economics journals. We examine citation counts for articles published in these journals during the years 2006–2015, and compare counts for articles written by in-group members versus out-group members, where in-group status is defined based on whether at least one author shares the journal’s institutional affiliation. We find that authors affiliated with Harvard and MIT receive fewer citation counts when their articles are published at the QJE compared to other top five journals. Moreover, articles published in the QJE by MIT authors receive fewer citation counts compared to articles written by out-group authors. Authors affiliated with Chicago and the UK do not receive fewer citation counts in the JPE and REStud, respectively. These results suggest that in-group bias exists in the QJE, but not in the JPE or REStud.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)9543-9556
Number of pages14
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Academic in-group bias
  • Economics journals
  • Editorial favoritism
  • Top five

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Computer Science Applications
  • General Social Sciences


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