This paper illustrates that salient features of a panel of time series of annual citations can be captured by a Bass type diffusion model. We put forward an extended version of this diffusion model, where we consider the relation between key characteristics of the diffusion process and features of the articles. More specifically, parameters measuring citations’ ceiling and the timing of peak citations are correlated with specific features of the articles like the number of pages and the number of authors. Our approach amounts to a multi-level non-linear regression for a panel of time series. We illustrate our model for citations to articles that were published in Econometrica and the Journal of Econometrics. Amongst other things, we find that more references lead to more citations and that for the Journal of Econometrics peak citations of more recent articles tend to occur later.

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Keywords diffusion of innovations, multi-level regression
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Franses, Ph.H.B.F., & Fok, D.. (2007). Modelling the Diffusion of Scientific Publications. Journal of Econometrics, 139(2), 376–390. doi:10.1016/j.jeconom.2006.10.021