Big names make list, but where are the women?

April 22, 2010

The most highly cited academics in business and economics are identified in a table published this week by Times Higher Education.

The list of the top researchers in economics, finance and business management is based on the number of papers published from 1970 to 2009 that have been cited 50 times or more, and was compiled by science data provider Thomson Reuters.

The table, which is dominated by finance experts, also lists total citation counts - the number of times scholars' work has been cited by peers - and average citations per paper.

In first place is Andrei Shleifer, a notable Russian-born professor of economics at Harvard University. His 67 papers yielded a total of 14,188 citations.

Professor Shleifer was instrumental in driving privatisation in Russia, which many regard as having undervalued the country's assets.

He is a controversial figure because in 2006 he was found guilty of making personal investments in Russia at the same time as providing economic advice to the country.

He is beaten on citations only by Eugene Fama, professor of finance at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, whose work was cited 14,884 times, but who - with 43 highly cited publications - is ranked fourth.

The only woman to make the list is Kathleen Eisenhardt, professor of strategy and organisation at Stanford University.

Even Elinor Ostrom, professor of political science at Indiana University, who in 2009 became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences, does not feature in the 59-name list.

Len Shackleton, dean of the University of East London's Royal Docks Business School, bemoaned the gender imbalance. "Finance has been the sexiest area of economics for the past 10-15 years but it is a female-unfriendly zone," he said.

One of the few economists credited with having predicted the financial crisis, Joseph Stiglitz, a professor at Columbia University, also features on the list in third position.

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