The carbon impact of flying to economics conferences: Is flying more associated with more citations?

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18 Citations (Scopus)
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An increasing body of literature has highlighted the significant carbon impact of academic conferences. Our paper further adds to this growing body of evidence by introducing a newly assembled dataset from a sample of 263 economics conferences, including 55,006 presentations by 26,312 academics. First, we offer a detailed description of the travelling pattern of academics presenting their work at these conferences, and highlight the main differences between academics and institutions in different geographical regions. Academic conferences are intuitively linked to increased dissemination in the expectation that they boost various impact metrics. For this reason we look at the relative role of the distance travelled and the number of trips made to present each paper in driving the number of citations these papers receive. We present evidence that the number of trips matters for more citations but longer distances are only associated with higher citation numbers for European academics. The potential reasons behind this heterogeneity are discussed in detail. Our results offer support to recent evidence showing that higher carbon impact is not necessarily associated with enhanced academic outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-67
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number1
Early online date20 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • carbon-impact
  • flying
  • academic conferences
  • economics

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