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Springerplus. 2013 Apr 17;2(1):168. doi: 10.1186/2193-1801-2-168. Print 2013 Dec.

Demand spillovers of smash-hit papers: evidence from the 'Male Organ Incident'.

Author information

1
University of Helsink and HECER, Helsinki, Finland.

Abstract

ABSTRACT:

This study explores the short-run spillover effects of popular research papers. We consider the publicity of 'Male Organ and Economic Growth: Does Size Matter?' as an exogenous shock to economics discussion paper demand, a natural experiment of a sort. In particular, we analyze how the very substantial visibility influenced the downloads of Helsinki Center of Economic Research discussion papers. Difference in differences and regression discontinuity analysis are conducted to elicit the spillover patterns. This study finds that the spillover effect to average economics paper demand is positive and statistically significant. It seems that hit papers increase the exposure of previously less downloaded papers. We find that part of the spillover effect could be attributable to Internet search engines' influence on browsing behavior. Conforming to expected patterns, papers residing on the same web page as the hit paper evidence very significant increases in downloads which also supports the spillover thesis.

JEL CLASSIFICATION:

A11, C21.

MSC CLASSIFICATION:

97K80.

KEYWORDS:

Blogs; Difference in differences; Downloads; Media; Natural experiment; Regression discontinuity design; Scholarly spillover

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