Truly economics style: “A Few Goodmen: Surname-Sharing Economist Coauthors”

A Few Goodmen: Surname-Sharing Economist Coauthors


We explore the phenomenon of coauthorship by economists who share a surname. Prior research has included at most three economist coauthors who share a surname. Ours is the first paper to have four economist coauthors who share a surname, as well as the first where such coauthors are unrelated by marriage, blood or current campus.


“The phenomenon of coauthorship in the economics profession has been widely explored. Card and DellaVigna (2013), for example, document the fact that the number of authors per economics paper has been steadily growing over time. In the early 1970s, three-fourths of economics articles were single-authored. That fraction dropped to less than one-fourth by 2012. Recent research also points to the importance of how one chooses one’s coauthors. Einav and Yariv (2006) explore “alphabetical discrimination,” the fact that economists with earlier surname initials have greater career success, and argue that this phenomenon is not observed in academic fields where the order of co-authorship is not determined alphabetically. This suggests that, all else equal, a given economist should choose coauthors whose last names fall later in the alphabet than his or her own name.1,2 Freeman and Huang (2014) document the tendency of academics to coauthor with others of a similar ethnic background and argue that the homogeneity among coauthors leads to lower quality papers. We leave it to the reader to determine whether this paper is consistent with that finding….




Goodman, Allen C., Joshua Goodman, Lucas Goodman, and Sarena Goodman. 2015. “A Few Goodmen: Surname-Sharing Economist Coauthors.” Economic Inquiry 53 (2): 1392-1395. Copy at


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