The Review Process in Economics: Is it Too Fast?
Rewards for publications in good economics journals are very high, while submission fees and other monetary costs associated with submitting an existing manuscript are low. Consequently, the editorial delay (especially the first response time – the time until the first editorial decision), by postponing monetary rewards to publication, constitutes the major submission cost (from the author’s perspective). Reducing the delay will induce many additional submissions of low-quality papers to good journals, increasing significantly the workload of editors and referees. Moreover, the rejection rate will increase and cause papers to be rejected more times prior to publication, offsetting at least some of the shorter first response times. As a result, the efforts of many editors to reduce the editorial delay, while attracting more submissions to their journals, may have adverse effects from a social perspective, and the optimal delay might be longer than the current average of four months.
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