AER: Submission Guidelines

Please read our submission guidelines thoroughly before submitting a paper. Papers will not be reviewed if they do not follow our submission guidelines.


Submission Policy

Any paper submitted to the American Economic Review should NOT be under consideration for publication at another journal. All submitted papers must also represent original work, and should fully reference and describe all prior work on the same subject and compare the submitted paper to that work.

Authors should familiarize themselves with how we handle conflicts of interest between authors and coeditors, as described in our Editorial Policy and disclose any potential personal conflicts in an accompanying cover letter.

In an effort to prevent plagiarism, the American Economic Association subscribes to CrossCheck to screen its submissions. CrossCheck has a "database of current and archival scholarly literature" and uses the iThenticate tool to "compare authored work against the content in the database and highlight matching or similar text for further editorial review." Submission to AEA journals implies permission of the Association to check the submission electronically for plagiarism, using the CrossCheck system.

Submission fees must be paid by credit card at the time of submission. We are unable to review manuscripts that have been previously rejected by the AER. The AER reserves the right to reject papers without review.

Effective July 1, 2012: All submissions, including revisions, 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. The statements will also need to disclose whether IRB approval was obtained for the project, and if not, state the reason(s). Submissions that do not include the statements will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

We are unable to review manuscripts that have been previously rejected by the AER. The AER reserves the right to reject papers without review.

Fees

Submission fees must be paid by credit card at the time of submission. If you have any questions, please contact the Editorial Office at info@aerjournal.org or call 412-432-2300.

  • Members of the AEA: $100
  • Nonmembers: $200

Members working in certain low-income countries are permitted lower fees.

>> View low-income country fees

Guidelines

Read guidelines thoroughly.  Papers will not be reviewed if they do not follow our submission guidelines.
Papers should be submitted electronically to Manuscript Central.  

> > Submit a paper

Upon receipt of the paper, a confirmation e-mail will be sent electronically.

  1. All manuscripts should be submitted in PDF format with 1.5 line spacing.  We strongly recommend manuscripts not exceed 40 pages (50 pages for double-spaced manuscripts). The suggested length includes reference lists, figures, and tables. Excessively long submissions may be summarily rejected.

  2. Please use 12-point Times New Roman or similar font. Margins should be 1.5 inches on the top, bottom, and sides.
  3. Please include the words "For Online Publication" at the beginning of any lengthy appendix. Note that referees are also expected to read the appendix, and the appendix also must stay within a reasonable length. Unless the circumstances are exceptional (in which case you can feel free to explain them in your cover letter), we do not expect referees to be able to process a 100-page appendix within a reasonable time frame. Manuscripts with unreasonably long appendices may also be rejected without review.

  4. Your manuscript should include a title page with each author's name and contact information.

  5. Effective July 1, 2012: All submissions, including revisions, 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. The statements will also need to disclose whether IRB approval was obtained for the project, and if not, state the reason(s). Submissions that do not include the statements will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.

  6. Include an abstract of 100 or fewer words.

  7. Any requests for an exemption from our Data Availability Policy should be made in your cover letter when your paper is first submitted.

  8. The American Economic Association operates a Registry for Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs). As of January 2018, registration in the RCT registry is mandatory for all applicable submissions. You will be asked to provide your AEARCT identification number in the online submission form. Please include your number in the acknowledgement footnote in your paper, as well.

  9. Fully reference all prior work on the same subject and compare your paper to that work. In addition to referencing the work of other scholars, you should be certain to cite your own work when applicable.

Please note:

  • Cover letter: In general, we do not require a cover letter. Please use the cover letter for substantive information only: clarification on the data availability policy; request of a specific Coeditor (they may or may not be honored); signal that a particular Coeditor may present a conflict of interest if assigned to your paper. If you do not have anything of substance to write, do not include a cover letter. If you include a cover letter, typing it directly into the manuscript central submission form will be the most convenient. 

  • We offer submitting authors the option of using AEA Templates. If these templates are used, they should be used in "review mode."

  • If your paper is selected for publication, appendices longer than five pages will appear only on our website and not in the printed journal. Such appendices will be posted without being typeset or edited by the journal.

  • If your paper is accepted for publication, all data used in your analysis should be clearly and precisely documented and should be made available on the journal’s website for purposes of replication. See Data Availability Policy.

  • In tables, please report standard errors in parentheses but do not use *s to report significance levels.

  • We encourage you to use bibliographic software when preparing your reference list.  If you are using such software,  please select “Chicago Manual Author-Date” style.
    Not all document types are covered in reference list software.  We include helpful guidelines for several document types.  View Sample References.
  • View AER Style Guide for published papers.