A theory of citations

Wojciech Olszewski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We propose a model in which researchers maximize the number of times they are cited in later papers. The equilibrium is inefficient, because researchers distort their effort toward writing on popular topics. This inefficiency is affected by various factors, policies and customs. We explored the effect of a variety of such factors. In particular, we argue that the inefficiency is likely to be higher in disciplines (areas of research) in which talent is uniform across topics rather than more topic specific. We also determine conditions under which assigning a higher weight to citations in papers published in higher-ranked journals enhances efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-212
Number of pages20
JournalResearch in Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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