The Interdisciplinarity of Economics
Alexandre Truc, Université Côte d’Azur
Economics has the reputation to be an insular discipline with little consideration for other social sciences and humanities (SSH). Recent research [Angrist et al, 2020, JEL] challenges this perception of economics: the perception would be historically in- accurate and especially at odds with the recent interdisciplinarity of economics. By systematically studying citation patterns since the 1950s in thousands of journals, we oﬀer the best established conclusions to date on this issue. Our results do show that the discipline is uniquely insular from a historical point of view. But we also document an important turn after the 1990s that drastically transformed the discipline as it became more open, very quickly, to the inﬂuence of management, environmental sciences, and to a lesser degree, a variety of the SSH. While this turn made economics less uniquely insular, as of today economics remains the least outward-looking discipline with management among all SSH. Furthermore, unlike in the other major social sciences, the most inﬂuential journals in economics have not signiﬁcantly contributed to the recent increase in the interdisciplinarity of the discipline. While economics is changing, it is too soon to claim that it has completed an interdisciplinary turn.