Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, 29:1, 47±70, 2004
# 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Manufactured in The Netherlands.
Trends in Real Estate Research, 1988±2001:
What's Hot and What's Not
University of Illinois, Chicago, U.S.A.
GEOFFREY K. TURNBULL
Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA, U.S.A.
This paper examines publications and citations for topic and technique trends in JREFE and REE during the
period 1988±2001. Publication and citation patterns reveal real estate as a largely empirical ®eld. The mix of
topics and techniques published by the two journals as well as sources cited and garnering citations are
converging over time. Within topic or technique categories, the most frequently cited papers or authors tend to
garner citations that vary with the relative popularity of the category in the broader literature. Yet, the impacts of
top contributors re¯ect signi®cant contributions outside their most cited research in one specialized one topic area
Key Words: citation analysis, research rankings, author rankings, research topics, research techniques
By all appearances, real estate has gone through a period of rapid expansion and change
over the past 15 years as an academic ®eld. This period saw the creation of a new major
professional association (American Real Estate Society), new major journals (Journal of
Real Estate Research in 1986 and the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics in
1988), and even a change in the name of a leading journal (The AREUEA Journal to Real
Estate Economics). These highly visible developments bring to mind questions about how
the more substantive aspects of the ®eld are changing over time. In particular, has the
focus of academic research in real estate changed over time? And has real estate become
more distinct from ®nance and economics, or has it become more ®rmly integrated with its
This paper examines the trends in topics and techniques in academic real estate research
revealed by the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics (JREFE) and Real Estate
Economics (REE) during the period from 1988 to 2001. It also uses citation counts to
measure the extent to which real estate research draws upon nonreal estate journals in
®nance and economics as well as to identify the most cited published research in real
estate itself. The 14-year sample period is long enough to identify trends (in any case,
JREFE began publication in 1988, which precludes extending our study to earlier years).
The focus is on identifying changes in emphasis in terms of both publication patterns and