We compile the list of articles published in major refereed economics
journals during the last 35 years that have received more than 500
citations. We document major shifts in the mode of contribution and in
the importance of different sub-fields: Theory loses out to empirical
work, and micro and macro give way to growth and development in the
1990s. While we do not witness any decline in the primacy of production
in the United States over the period, the concentration of institutions
within the U.S. hosting and training authors of the highly-cited
articles has declined substantially.
That is from Kim, Morse, and Zingales; here is the paper.