American Economic Journal:

ISSN 1945-7669 (Print) | ISSN 1945-7685 (Online)

Editorial Policy

Peer Review Process

All manuscripts submitted to the AEJ: Microeconomics undergo single-blind peer review—the name of the author is revealed to the referee(s), while the referee(s) remain anonymous to authors. When a manuscript is received, the editor assigns it to a coeditor or to themselves (in the role of coeditor) to oversee the review process and to make a publication decision.

Once assigned, papers are handled by the designated coeditor throughout the decision process. The editor and coeditors reserve the right to return manuscripts to authors without referee review. The decision to return a manuscript without review is based on several considerations, including expected probability of meeting the standards of the AEJ: Microeconomics, breadth of topic, and interest to the AEJ: Microeconomics audience. Before giving a first revise-and-resubmit decision, the coeditor will consult a second coeditor of their choosing for input.

Papers conditionally accepted by the coeditor then undergo a review by the AEA data editor to determine whether the paper complies with the AEA's Data and Code Availability Policy and Data Legality Policy.  

When papers are accepted and published, the coeditor in charge is identified in the acknowledgement footnote of the article.

Conflicts of Interest

The following conflict-of-interest rules affect the assignment of manuscripts.

Coeditor in Charge

  • Coeditors are recused from papers involving current colleagues at the same institution (regardless of department), as well as graduate students at the same institution.
  • Coeditors are recused from papers involving coauthors of current papers or papers published less than two years ago.
  • Coeditors are recused from papers involving untenured students that they advised.
  • Coeditors are recused from papers involving a family member.
  • Coeditors must disclose any other close personal or professional relationship, which, in their opinion, creates a conflict (e.g., coauthor of a current project, former tenured student that the coeditor is still close to, advisee of author, etc.).

It is the responsibility of the coeditor to identify a conflict of interest to the editor. In addition, authors are asked during the submission process whether they are aware of any coeditor who has a conflict. When a conflict is identified, the paper will be assigned to a different coeditor with appropriate procedures for confidentiality of refereeing. 

Papers submitted by a coeditor or the editor are handled by a guest editor employing appropriate confidentiality procedures. The guest editor has full editorial discretion. If the paper is submitted by a coeditor, the editor invites a guest editor. If the paper is submitted by the editor, a coeditor invites a guest editor. Current coeditors or the current editor cannot serve as guest editor. If possible, the guest editor is drawn from former editors or coeditors of AEA journals or from members of the board of editors. The guest editor's name is identified in the acknowledgement footnote of the published article.

How the Order of Items in the Journal Is Determined 

The order in which papers appear in each issue is determined by the editor in consultation with the coeditors. The paper that appears first (the "lead article") is one that the editor particularly wants to call attention to, based on factors such as the importance of the questions it addresses, the quality of analysis, the innovation over the literature, and the clarity of presentation. The order of the subsequent articles generally follows the order in which the articles were accepted, though sometimes there are deviations, for example to group two related articles together. Any comments and replies are printed after regular articles.

Disclosure Policy

When submitting papers for peer review, all authors must provide disclosure statements identifying potential conflicts of interest. If authors have nothing to disclose, they are obligated to submit a statement explicitly stating this. Disclosure statements should also include whether IRB approval was obtained for the project, and if not, state the reason(s). For published papers, a brief summary of potential conflicts of interest should appear in the acknowledgement footnote. The entire disclosure statement is posted with the paper on the journal's website. View the full Disclosure Policy.

Use of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence software, such as chatbots or other large language models, may not be listed as an author. If artificial intelligence software was used in the preparation of the manuscript, including drafting or editing text, this must be briefly described during the submission process, which will help us understand how authors are or are not using chatbots or other forms of artificial intelligence. Authors are solely accountable for, and must thoroughly fact-check, outputs created with the help of artificial intelligence software.  

Data Legality Policy

All data used in papers published in journals of the American Economic Association should be legally acquired. The coeditor in charge may reject the paper if some or all of the data were not legally obtained. View the full Data Legality Policy (effective July 2023).

Data and Code Availability Policy

It is the policy of the American Economic Association to publish papers only if the data and code used in the analysis are clearly and precisely documented and access to the data and code is nonexclusive to the authors.

Authors of accepted papers that contain empirical work, simulations, or experimental work must provide, prior to acceptance, information about the data, programs, and other details of the computations sufficient to permit replication, as well as information about access to data and programs. View the full Data and Code Availability Policy.

RCT Registration Policy

It is the policy of the AEA journals that all work involving field experiments must be registered with the AEA RCT Registry prior to submission for publication.

Policy on Papers Previously Submitted to the American Economic Review or AER: Insights

The AEJ: Microeconomics will consider papers previously reviewed by the American Economic Review or AER: Insights. In most cases, it is neither necessary nor recommended to revise the manuscript before submitting to AEJ: Microeconomics.

During the submission process, authors of manuscripts previously reviewed by these journals may request that the full correspondence files of the referees (including cover letters as well as referees' reports) be shared with the editors of the AEJ: Microeconomics, who will have the discretion to make a decision based on these reports or to request additional reports. When such a request is made, the editorial staff will contact each referee to obtain permission, and if it is granted, will forward all referee correspondence to the AEJ: Microeconomics editor. 

For detailed instructions, see Submission Guidelines.