History and Objectives
The American Economic Association was organized in 1885 at a meeting in Saratoga, New York, by a small group interested in economics. It was incorporated in Washington, DC, on February 3, 1923. The purposes of the Association are:
- The encouragement of economic research, especially the historical and statistical study of the actual conditions of industrial life.
- The issue of publications on economic subjects.
- The encouragement of perfect freedom of economic discussion. The Association as such will take no partisan attitude, nor will it commit its members to any position on practical economic questions.
The spirit of these objectives has been maintained throughout the history of the Association. Once composed primarily of college and university teachers of economics, the Association now attracts an increasing number of members from business and professional groups. Today the membership is ca. 18,000, over half of whom are academics. About 15% are employed in business and industry, and the remainder largely by federal, state, and local government or other not-for-profit organizations.
Article: Who Is a Member of the AEA? John J. Siegfried, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 12, No. 2, Spring 1998 (PDF)
Benefits of AEA Membership
As an AEA member, you join 18,000 of your colleagues who embrace the value of an AEA membership. Whether you are an established economist or an emerging scholar in the field, you will find it a rewarding experience with far-reaching impact on your career. It’s a place where you can make important contributions to the distinction of our profession.
Your AEA membership enables you to receive all seven of the AEA journals, selected discounts, and special privileges including:
- Online access to: The American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Journal: Microeconomics.
Advance access to online pre-publication accepted articles for AEA Journals.
Receive any of the AEA Journals in print for a small fee. The AER, JEL and JEP are also available on CD.
- Discounts on submission fees for the AER and the AEJs.
- Submit papers to be considered for presentation at the AEA Annual Meeting.
- Receive electronic announcements of upcoming events, Call for Papers, and new member benefits.
- Access eTOC or Virtual Field Journals: Quarterly alerts to articles in all seven AEA journals in the subject classifications of your choice.
- View webcasts of selected AEA Annual Meeting and Continuing Education sessions online.
- Access to EconLit For Members A simplified online bibliography for use outside of an institutional setting.
- Access to all current issues and nearly twenty years of archived journal articles are available from the AEA website. Additional archives are available for an additional $16 annually through JSTOR.
- Discounts on the Continuing Education Program.
- Vote in the annual election of officers and at the Annual Business Meeting.
- Learn about developing legislation, regulations and agency decisions that are relevant to the scientific interests of economists by signing up for Committee on Government Relations Announcements.
- Complimentary listing in the AEA Directory of Members.
- Group Term Life Insurance & Short Term Recovery Health Care.
Journals of the Association
The American Economic Review® (AER) is a general-interest economics journal. Established in 1911, the AER is among the nation's oldest and most respected scholarly journals in the economics profession and is celebrating over 100 years of publishing. The journal publishes 11 issues containing articles on a broad range of topics as well as the Papers and Proceedings issue in May, which presents selected papers from the AEA's annual meeting along with the reports of officers and committees. The guidelines for Papers and Proceedings are available here.
The Journal of Economic Abstracts began publication in 1963. In 1969 it expanded into the Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) with issues appearing in March, June, September, and December. JEL contains commissioned survey and review articles, book reviews, an annotated list of new books classified by subject matter, and (in electronic form only) indexes of articles from economics periodicals. JEL is available in print, on CD, and on the Internet. The CD edition includes indexing and abstracts for all the journals included in EconLit.
The Association introduced the Journal of Economic Perspectives (JEP) in 1987; issues appear in February, May, August, and November. JEP’s mission is to provide accessible articles that report on and critique recent research findings, evaluate public policy initiatives, and serve as insightful readings for classroom use. The Editors expect the JEP to facilitate the diffusion of current research not only within academe, but also in the public sector and business community. All issues of the JEP are now publicly accessible online at no charge, compliments of the American Economic Association. Articles are commissioned by the Editor. The JEP is available in print, on CD, various e-readers, and on the Internet.
American Economic Journals
The Association initiated four new journals in 2009, under the common title of American Economic Journal. The journals are subtitled: Applied Economics; Economic Policy; Macroeconomics; and Microeconomics. All fields of economics are included in at least one of the new journals. Members receive access to the journals electronically and in print. Information about the content of each journal, their editorial staffs, submission and review policies, publication schedules, and subscription information is available at www.aeaweb.org/aea_journals.html.
Beginning July 1, 2012, all submissions to AEA journals, including revisions of previously submitted papers, must be accompanied by a Disclosure Statement. This is applicable even when the authors have no relevant interests to disclose. Authors will need to provide a separate Disclosure Statement for each coauthor at the time of submission. Submissions that do not include the statements will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. Please see the complete Disclosure Policy.
Other Publications and Services
A Directory of Members is available electronically. It is an ongoing, continuous Directory, depending on regular updates by our members. It contains a brief biographical listing of members.
Mailing List Rental. The AEA membership mailing list is available for rental by groups and organizations.
Job Openings for Economists (JOE) originated in October 1974. It is published electronically monthly (except January and July). JOE lists job vacancies for economists. JOE is available via the Internet at www.aeaweb.org/joe.
EconLit is an electronic database containing over 120 years of economics journal articles, books, dissertations, articles in collected works, working papers, and book reviews. It is available through libraries and institutions and directly to members via the Association’s website. Access may be online or by CD-ROM. For information, contact your library or write to JEL, 2403 Sidney Street, #260, Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Resources for Economists is a guide which lists more than 2,000 resources in 97 sections and sub-sections available on the internet of interest to academic and practicing economists, and those interested in economics.
Electronic Access. Issues of AEA’s seven journals are available online for members at www.aeaweb.org/aea_journals.php. Online access includes forthcoming articles (pre-publication) and previous issues of the JEP and JEL dating to 1994, and AER to 1999. More years are being added! All issues (beginning in 2009) of the American Economic Journals are available electronically.
Awards. The Association recognizes the lifetime research contributions of four distinguished economists annually by electing them Distinguished Fellows. Annually the Association awards the John Bates Clark Medal for outstanding research accomplishments in economics to a scholar under the age of 40. The Association also maintains a roster of distinguished Foreign Honorary Members. AEJ Best Paper prizes, Distinguished Fellows, Clark medalists, and Foreign Honorary Members are listed on the AEA homepage at http://www.aeaweb.org/honors_awards/index.php.
Annual Meeting. AEA, in conjunction with over 55 associations in related disciplines, holds a three-day meeting to present papers on general economic subjects. About 520 scholarly sessions are held each year. A placement service operates to assist employers and job applicants; it begins a day prior to the meetings. All members are invited to attend the annual business meeting, which takes place during this period. Meetings are scheduled for January 3-5, 2014 in Philadelphia and January 3-5, 2015 in Boston. See http://www.aeaweb.org/Annual_Meeting/index.php, the “Notes” section in JEP or the advertising section of the AER and JEL for future dates and locations. The annual call for papers is on the Association’s home page. The deadline is usually April 1 of the prior year.
Committees with Special Activities. Contributions to the profession are made by the continuing work of AEA’s Committee on Economic Education, Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession, Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, Committee on Economic Statistics, and Committee on Government Relations.
Statistics. The Association conducts an annual survey of academic economics departments and reports results in the May issue of the AER. Included are salaries, distributions of faculty by rank, sex and race, trends in undergraduate enrollments, and information about graduate programs in economics. Past reports of the Universal Academic Questionnaire are available online.
Webcasts of Selected Sessions & Continuing Education Programs. Beginning in 2009, selected sessions from the Annual Meeting were videotaped and are made available for online viewing for members only. Click here to view.
Subscriptions. Only individuals may become members. Libraries, institutions or firms may become subscribers. Subscribers receive print copies of all of the Association’s journals but do not vote in the election of officers. Library site licenses for online access to current issues of the Association’s journals are available.
Information for Students. The Association maintains websites that provide information for prospective undergraduate economics majors and for prospective economics Masters and Ph.D. students. See: www.vanderbilt.edu/AEA/students and www.vanderbilt.edu/AEA/gradstudents.
Organizations of which AEA is a Member
Council of Professional Association on Federal Statistics (COPAFS)
Consortium of Social Science Association (COSSA)
American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)
International Economic Association (IEA)
Commission on Professionals in Science & Technology (CPST)