They say academic papers are boring. They obviously haven’t read these.
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.
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’.