This week the Journal of Sports Economics published "The Who and the What of the Journal of Sports Economics – 20th Anniversary Edition. The paper, co-authored by Carlos Gomez-Gonzalez, Julio del Corral and Plácido Rodríguez is a celebration of the first twenty years of the journal.
The abstract says "This article describes the content published in the Journal of Sports Economics (JSE) for its 20th anniversary. The analysis focuses on the most relevant topics and captures the characteristics of authors, institutions, and types of collaborations over a 20-year period. In total, the sample includes 663 research articles (published from
February 2000 to December 2019) and 856 authors from 490 institutions. The 20-year period offers an insightful picture of sports economics research. The article discusses additional features and trends and reflects on expected directions for future research in the journal."
Among the range of data and issues addressed, one aspect focuses on the "evolution of the topics analyzed in JSE contributions." The trend is quite stable. Questions examining "behavior" and "competitive balance and demand" are 1 and 2 for the 4 five-year periods between 2000 and 2019. Combined these make up about 30%-40% of all accepted submissions. Competitive balance and demand are clearly the most cited papers, with the top 4 cited papers all listed under this heading. Each has more than 300 citations to date.
Since 2015, soccer has been the most written about sport. Baseball appropriately dominated the 2000-2004 period but has since dropped to 3rd spot on the list, with American Football in second.
There is also a really nice map called "Geographical concentration of contributions to the JSE". The paper states: "Map 1 displays the percentage of authors who have contributed to the JSE from institutions in different countries and yields a significant imbalance. While the journal is missing the contribution of authors from several countries, especially in Africa, Central America, and the Middle East, four countries concentrate more than 75% of the contributions: the United States (60%), followed far behind by Germany (7%), the United Kingdom (5%), and Spain (4%). Other countries in the Top 11 are Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, South Korea, Australia, Italy, and France."
The full paper, which is brilliant reading, can be found here.