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The Economic History of the American Economic Review : A Century's Explosion of Economics Research

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  • Robert A. Margo

Abstract

Written in celebration of the upcoming 100th anniversary of the American Economic Review (February 2011), this paper recounts the history of the journal. The recounting has an analytic core that sees the American Economic Association as an organization supplying goods and services to its members, one of which is the AER. Early in its history the AER was a multi-purpose publication with highly disparate content. Over time the economics profession expanded and more economics research was produced, primarily in the form of journal articles. The AER accommodated this shift by allocating more resources to the refereeing and editing process and more space, absolutely and relatively, in the AER to research papers. Historically, the latter was accomplished mostly by moving other content (for example, book reviews) out most of which the AEA continued to supply elsewhere. Despite these shifts, the ratio of papers published in the AER to those submitted - a proxy for the acceptance rate - has declined precipitously over the past half-century.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert A. Margo, 2010. "The Economic History of the American Economic Review : A Century's Explosion of Economics Research," NBER Working Papers 16274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16274 Note: DAE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sauer, Raymond D, 1988. "Estimates of the Returns to Quality and Coauthorship in Economic Academia," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 855-866, August.
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    3. Ofer H. Azar, 2005. "The Review Process in Economics: Is It Too Fast?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 72(2), pages 482-491, October.
    4. John J. Siegfried, 2012. "Report of the Treasurer," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 626-630, May.
    5. Laband, David N & Piette, Michael J, 1994. "The Relative Impacts of Economics Journals: 1970-1990," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 640-666.
    6. Bogart, Dan, 2009. "Nationalizations and the Development of Transport Systems: Cross-Country Evidence from Railroad Networks, 1860–1912," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(01), pages 202-237, March.
    7. Joshua S. Gans & George B. Shepherd, 1994. "How Are the Mighty Fallen: Rejected Classic Articles by Leading Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 165-179, Winter.
    8. Aditi Mehta & Marc Rysman & Tim Simcoe, 2006. "Identifying the Age Profile of Patent Citations," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-022, Boston University - Department of Economics.
    9. Christ, Carl F, 1983. "The Founding of the Econometric Society and Econometrica," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(1), pages 3-6, January.
    10. Engers, Maxim & Gans, Joshua S, 1998. "Why Referees Are Not Paid (Enough)," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1341-1349, December.
    11. Harcourt,G. C., 1972. "Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521096720, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:aea:jeclit:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:545-79 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Robert A. Margo, 2017. "The Integration of Economic History into Economics," NBER Working Papers 23538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • B0 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General
    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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