Academic papers in Economics, with few exceptions, have titles that are best described as unappetising: ‘A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity‘ zzzzzzzz. So I decided to give some of the most cited papers in Economics a clickbait make-over.* (I chose ten of the 100 most cited papers in Economics.) See if you can guess the paper – the link will take you to their respective Repec pages. And please add more ideas in the comments section.
When Michelle heard what her friends earned in New York, she decided to move there too. She never expected this to happen.
Daniel thought it was a great idea to buy insurance. Then he discovered this.
What is the recipe for economic growth? Finally, we have the answer.
His bank wouldn’t give him a loan. Then Joseph tried this.
My mother said to never trust an economist about the future. But sometimes – like this guy – they get it spectacularly right.
Mosquitoes killed millions of Europeans. This is what happened next.
One more reason to blame the French!
Janet Yellen takes her husband along when she wants to buy a second-hand car. Here’s why.
This guy committed a crime. Here’s why he should not be punished for it.
I laughed so hard when I saw this guy confuse correlation and causation. He should’ve just read this!
Some popular book titles have also been clickbaited. And to those looking for some clickbait inspiration, you can randomly generate your own here.
I doubt that Economics papers will get sexier titles in the near future. But the clickbait movement, whether you like it or not, is here to stay and will perhaps force scholars to sell their papers more overtly. A little bit of clickbaitism might indeed be necessary to attract a larger (non-academic) audience, and help close the gap between the profession and the real world.
*I thank Waldo Krugell for this idea. He introduced a paper on the ‘Spatial persistence of South Africa in the twentieth century’ with a clickbait title – ‘South Africa implemented apartheid. You would never have guessed what happened next’.