Prof Helps Assemble Massive Economics Reference
Researcher Sought for Expertise in Behavioral and Experimental Topics
May 29, 2008
On May 30, publisher Palgrave Macmillan will release the most comprehensive economics reference tool ever assembled.
The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics contains 1,872 articles by 1,506 of the world’s leading economists, including 25 Nobel Prize winners.
The scope of the dictionary was so big that its two editors recruited an international team of 18 associate editors, who are at the forefront of their respective areas of economics, to help with the project. UT Dallas Professor of Economics Catherine Eckel was asked to serve as the associate editor of the Behavioral and Experimental Economics section. She selected which topics were covered and which authors would contribute to this section, and commissioned 33 new entries.
Eckel’s research is also featured in the dictionary. She contributed an entry on “Experiments on Gender Differences.” Economics Professor Rachel Croson is another UT Dallas contributor, with an entry on Public Goods experiments.
This will be the second edition of the dictionary. It has been 21 years since the first was published. During that time, the field of economics has changed drastically and the new edition reflects these changes, particularly in Eckel’s field. The previous edition of the Palgrave had only four entries in the two fields. The new edition has at least 100. “Behavioral economics barely existed 20 years ago, and experimental economics was only slightly further along,” said Eckel.
“Today every major journal in economics publishes research in behavioral and experimental economics, and it is becoming the norm for economics departments to have at least one experimentalist among their faculty,” she said. The UT Dallas School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences has three experimentalists: Eckel, Croson, and Sherry Li.
The school’s faculty also includes one behavioral theorist, Nathan Berg, and one behavioral macroeconomist, Chetan Dave. Ernan Haruvy in the School of Management is also an experimentalist.
The dictionary format has also changed to incorporate the technological advances during the past couple of decades. Palgrave will offer an online edition, which will allow users to quickly search the entries instead of leafing through 7,680 pages in eight printed volumes. Editors will ensure the online reference remains current by making quarterly updates.
“This is the first editorial effort that attempts to provide a comprehensive snapshot of economics at this level,” said co-editor Larry Blume, during a recent visit to UT Dallas.
The editors expect the dictionary to be a valuable reference for scholars, business professionals and journalists alike, but the contributors were asked to write for a target audience of first-year graduate students.
UT Dallas students will have access to this resource, through the McDermott Library, beginning this fall.