You just went to an IO conference and heard some interesting papers. How soon will you find these papers in journals? In which outlets? And how many citations will they receive?

Yossi Spiegel and Otto Toivanen address these and related questions, using data from five annual conferences of EARIE (European Association for Research in Industrial Economics). The EARIE conference is large: on average, each of the conferences in our data (2010, 2012-2015) received 452 submissions, of which 252 were eventually presented. Bearing in mind that during 1970- 2015, 211 IO papers were published on average each year in economics journals (Angrist et al., 2020), we can already guess that not all EARIE papers are eventually published. Indeed, we find that only a little over a half of them are eventually published and not all in economics journals.

Publication is a rather slow process: on average it takes over 3 years for EARIE papers to get published, with almost a quarter being published 5 years or more after the conference. Interestingly, theory papers or papers that combine theory and empirics take longer to get published, and the same holds for single-authored papers (you cannot blame your coauthors for delays!). These findings hold even after controlling for a host of factors, including the grades that submitted papers received from members of the Scientific Committee who evaluated them. Another interesting finding is that almost 60% of all published papers change their title or even coauthors relative to the version submitted to the conference (tracing papers after the conference then requires a detective job, especially since some authors leave the profession…).

Where can you find those papers that were eventually published? Not surprisingly, the most popular outlets are IO journals (IJIO being the most popular, with JEMS and Rand being second and third), although only 19% of the EARIE papers appeared in IO journals. The rest appeared in over 300 different journals, which vary a lot in terms of quality and even discipline. In fact, journals in innovation studies, management, and entrepreneurship, like Research Policy, Industrial and Corporate Change, and Small Business Economics, are among the most popular outlets for EARIE papers.

Does presentation help when it comes to publication? The answer is yes for papers published in IO journals: submitted papers that were also presented at the conference were 9 percentage points more likely to be published in IO journals than submitted papers that were not presented. However, there is no similar effect for other journals.

Congratulations! Your paper got published. Will anyone notice? As expected, we find that publications in high-quality journals receive almost twice as many citations as publications in regular journals. However we also find that empirical papers receive more citations than theory or experimental papers and by a wide margin; papers receive substantially more citations if they are co-authored; and they receive especially more citations if they are published in innovation, entrepreneurship, OR and management, or finance journals rather than in a journal in economics.

Some people feel that IO is too theoretical. Others feel that it is not theoretical enough. Who is right? We find that, about half of all EARIE papers were theoretical and almost a half included empirical work. Very few were experimental. These shares are similar to what they were in economics in general in the early 1980s; since then however economics became more empirically oriented (e.g., Angrist et al., 2020, and Hamermesh 2013). Moreover, 60% of the EARIE paper were coauthored, compared to over 80% in papers submitted to general conferences economics (Gorodnichenko, 2021). It seems then that “Lonely theorists” are more common in IO than in other fields in economics.

Unfortunately, your paper was not accepted for presentation at the EARIE conference. How likely is it that you were just unlucky, but with other reviewers the outcome would have been different? Our data suggests that it is not very likely. Each EARIE paper was graded by two members of the Scientific Committee. We find that while disagreements between reviewers of the same paper are present in almost half of the cases, large disagreements, with one positive and one negative reviewer arise in only 6% of the cases.

Our paper contains many more facts and insights about the EARIE conferences and about IO research in general; you are welcome to read it if you are curious to learn more. Hopefully it gives you a better perspective on the state of our field and maybe opens the door for even more research.

(Full paper published in IJIO Volume 84, September 2022)


Angrist, J., Azoulay, P., Ellison, G., Hill, R., Lu, S.F., 2020. Inside job or deep impact? extramural citations and the influence of economic scholarship. Journal of Economic Literature 58 (1), 3–52.

Gorodnichenko, Y., Pham, T., Talavera, O., 2021. Conference presentations and academic publishing. Economic Modelling 95, 228–254.

Hamermesh, D.S., 2013. Six decades of top economics publishing: Who and how? Journal of Economic Literature 51 (1), 162–172.

Spiegel, Y., Toivanen, O., 2022. From conference submission to publication and citations: Evidence from the EARIE conference. International Journal of Industrial Organization 84, 102859