Identifying economics’ place amongst academic disciplines: a science or a social science?

John Hudson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


Different academic disciplines exhibit different styles, including styles in journal titles. Using data from the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the UK we are able to identify the stylistic trends of different disciplines using 155,552 journal titles across all disciplines. Cluster analysis is then used to group the different disciplines together. The resulting identification fits the social sciences, the sciences and the arts and humanities reasonably well. Economics overall, fits best with philosophy, but the linkage is weak. When we divided economics into papers published in theory, econometrics and the remaining journals, the first two link with mathematics and computer science, particularly econometrics, and thence the sciences. The rest of economics then links with business and thence the social sciences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-750
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017


  • Cluster analysis
  • Economics
  • Journal titles
  • REF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences


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