Publishing Economics: How Slow? Why Slow? Is Slow Productive? How to Fix Slow?
Daniel S. Hamermesh
Wesley W. Wilson
Journal of Economic Literature (Forthcoming)
Economics publishing proceeds much more slowly than in the natural sciences, and more slowly than other social sciences and finance. It is relatively even slower at the extremes. Much of the lag, especially at the extremes, arises from authors’ dilatory behavior in revisions. Additional rounds of re-submissions at top economics journals are related to additional citations; but conditional on re-submission, the delays are unrelated to greater scholarly attention. We offer several proposals for speeding publication, including no-revision policies, such as Economic Inquiry’s; use of “cascading referee reports;” limits on authors’ time revising; and limits on editors waiting for dilatory referees.