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AEA Ideology: Campaign Contributions of American Economic Association Members, Committee Members, Officers, Editors, Referees, Authors, and Acknowledgees


  • William A. McEachern


This paper investigates the 2004-election-cycle campaign contributions of the leadership of the American Economic Association. By cross-checking a name with an occupation, employer, and address, I develop a contribution profile for a sample of 2,000 AEA members, then use this profile as a benchmark to examine contributions of editors, referees, authors, and acknowledgees of the 2003 and 2004 issues of the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Literature, and Journal of Economic Perspectives. Association members were 5 times more likely to give to Democrats than to Republicans. American Economic Review authors appearing in regular issues were about 9 times more likely. Authors in the discretionary AEA publications were 38 times more likely. I find that in those publications where the editors have more discretion in choosing authors, author contributions look more like those of the editors and less like those of the members. For the various forms of leadership—officers, committee members, and editors—I generally find ratios more lopsided than among the regular membership. Remarkably few contributed to Republican campaigns. Such ratios challenge the American Economic Association’s claim that “widely different issues are given a hearing in its annual meetings and through its publication,†and its suggestion that the Association represents “people of all shades of economic opinion.â€

Suggested Citation

  • William A. McEachern, 2006. "AEA Ideology: Campaign Contributions of American Economic Association Members, Committee Members, Officers, Editors, Referees, Authors, and Acknowledgees," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 3(1), pages 148-179, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:3:y:2006:i:1:p:148-179

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder, 2003. "Why Is There So Little Money in Politics?," NBER Working Papers 9409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Kalaitzidakis, P. & Mamuneas, T.P. & Stengos, T., 2003. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions," Working Papers 2003-8, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
    3. Levitt, Steven D, 1994. "Using Repeat Challengers to Estimate the Effect of Campaign Spending on Election Outcomes in the U.S. House," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 777-798, August.
    4. Stephen Ansolabehere & John M. de Figueiredo & James M. Snyder Jr, 2003. "Why is There so Little Money in U.S. Politics?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 105-130, Winter.
    5. William McEachern, 1987. "Federal advisory commissions in an economic model of representative democracy," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 41-62, January.
    6. Daniel B. Klein, 2006. "Sense and Sensibilities: Myrdal's Plea for Self-Disclosure and Some Disclosures on AEA Members," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 3(1), pages 180-205, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel B. Klein & Stewart Dompe, 2007. "Reasons for Supporting the Minimum Wage: Asking Signatories of the "Raise the Minimum Wage" Statement," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 4(1), pages 125-167, January.
    2. William L. Davis & Bob G. Figgins, 2009. "Do Economists Believe American Democracy Is Working?," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 6(2), pages 195-202, May.
    3. Stern, Charlotta & Klein, Daniel B., 2006. "Is There a Free-Market Economist in the House? The Policy Views of American Economic Association Members," Working Paper Series 6/2006, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    4. Klein, Daniel B. & Stern, Charlotta, 2005. "Narrow-Tent Democrats and Fringe Others: The Policy Views of Social Science Professors," Working Paper Series 8/2005, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    5. repec:ejw:journl:v:13:y:2016:i:1:p:46-74 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Daniel B. Klein & William L. Davis & Bob G. Figgins & David Hedengren, 2012. "Characteristics of the Members of Twelve Economic Associations: Voting, Policy Views, and Favorite Economists," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 9(2), pages 149-162, May.

    More about this item


    American Economic Association; Democrat; Republican; campaign contribution; contributor ratio; editors; authors; referees; acknowledgees; committee members; officers; American Economic Review; Journal of Economic Literature; Journal of Economic Perspectives;

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology


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