Working Paper
The Market Place for Ideas

An Analysis of Knowledge Diffusion in Academic Journals

The thought that the academy might function like a ‘market place for ideas’ has been influential in the economics of science and is increasingly so in the philosophy of science/economic methodology literature. This paper contributes to this literature by examining one respect in which the academy may or may not resemble a market for ideas: it provides an empirical study of the diffusion of ideas within the academic community. In particular, it is concerned with the following questions: i) Is the pattern of diffusion in the academic community similar to that found in industry studies on the diffusion of new techniques of production? ii) Is the rate of diffusion faster in the academy or in industry? iii) Has the pattern of diffusion in the academy changed over time?