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More on Economists and Work on Climate Change



Since writing my previous blog post on Economists and Work on Climate Change last month, I discovered a blog post written by Eoin McLaughlin in October 2021 which updates the count of the number of articles on climate change by Oswald and Stern. McLaughlin finds that “compared with the 57 articles on the topic by 2019, using the same search terms on the Web of Science database, 141 articles focusing on ‘climate’, ‘carbon’ or ‘warming’ had been published by September 2021.”


McLaughlin’s blog post also highlights that focusing on the top general economics journals omits some leading field journals in environmental and ecological economics. Based on McLaughlin’s counts using the Web of Science, there were 1,595 articles on topics related to climate change published in these journals.


To get a better sense of which field journals are publishing more on climate change issues and how this is changing over time, I decided to take a look at publishing trends in some of the leading field journals in environmental and ecological economics. I made a tabulation of the number of papers published that included the terms ‘climate’, ‘carbon’ or ‘warming’ using the search function in each of the respective journal home pages. Here is what I found for the period Jan 2000 - Feb 2022.



JEEM has been steadily increasing the number of papers it publishes each year on climate change issues, with a visible break in 2018. There are obvious changes in topic trends for JAERE which only started publishing papers on climate change since 2014, and REEP which only started publishing papers on climate change since 2007. EE has been consistently publishing papers on climate change, but the number of papers per year has now consistently surpassed 200 in recent years.


From this analysis and from McLaughlin’s tabulations, it certainly does look like the latest trends in publishing on climate change issues in economics are changing. The increases in the number of papers published, especially since 2018-2019, is hopefully an indication that high-quality research on climate change issues will be rewarded by the economics profession.


Wang-Sheng Lee

20 February 2022