AER: Insights 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 American Economic Review: Insights  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 AER: InsightsAER: Insights reserves the right to reject papers without review.  Papers rejected without a review will receive a 50% refund of the submission fee.

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 aerinsights@aeapubs.org or call 412-432-2300.

AEA members pay only $200, so join the AEA now and save!

  • Members of the AEA: $200
  • Nonmembers: $300

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

Papers rejected without review will be refunded 50% of the submission fee.

>> 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. Manuscripts must be <=6,000 words, with a maximum of five exhibits (figures or tables); for each exhibit before the maximum five, the authors may add up to 200 words toward the word limit; thus a paper with no exhibits must have <=7,000 words. Authors are required to obtain a word count by uploading a modified PDF of their submission to http://countwordsfree.com/#. This PDF should INCLUDE only the main body of the text (including any equations) plus footnotes and endnotes.  This PDF should EXCLUDE the title, author names, abstract, acknowledgement footnote, reference list, and exhibits.  Other than these exclusions, the PDF should be identical to the submitted manuscript. During the submission process, the author will be required to provide the word count number calculated by http://countwordsfree.com/#. The author will also be required to upload both the PDF used for the word count (Word Count PDF) as well as the regular manuscript PDF (Manuscript), designating them as such. Word count will be verified by an editorial staff member using the same word count software upon submission. Manuscripts that exceed the limit will not be reviewed and will instead be summarily returned to the authors for them to comply with the length limits.
  2. Manuscripts should contain no more than a total of 5 exhibits (tables and figures). Individual tables and figures are limited to one page each.  Manuscripts that don't meet these requirements will not be reviewed.
  3. Length and exhibit limits on submissions and revisions will be strictly enforced.
  4. Papers must be self-contained. Specifically, a reader should be able follow the analysis in the paper and be convinced it is correct and coherent from the main text alone, without consulting online material. Material appropriate for an online appendix includes nonessential extensions, nonessential alternative specifications or robustness checks, and additional discussion that will be of interest to those pursuing work in this area, but are not necessary for a general reader to understand the paper.  Although online appendix materials are allowed (of unlimited length), if referees or the Editor do not feel able to evaluate the paper from the main text alone, that can be grounds for rejection.

    For empirical work, the main text should include relevant information about data sources, variable definitions and construction, the estimating equations, and any other information needed to understand and assess each exhibit in the main text. The online appendix is an appropriate place for additional details about the data and variable construction that would be relevant only to someone interested in pursuing work in this area or for alternative specifications, robustness checks, and analyses that the author does not feel it is essential to refer to in the main text to convince readers of the results.

    For theoretical work, proofs should typically be contained in the paper.  This is clearly the case when the proof itself provides insight into the paper’s argument or when the method of proof is innovative.  It is reasonable to put proofs or parts of proofs into an appendix if the paper includes a description of the method of proof, the method is familiar, and one could reasonably expect a reader to reproduce the proof given the description.
  5. Your manuscript should include a title page with each author's name and contact information.
  6. 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.
  7. Include an abstract of 100 or fewer words.
  8. Any requests for an exemption from our Data and Code Availability Policy should be made in your cover letter when your paper is first submitted.
  9. 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. This applies to field experiments. Laboratory experiments do not need to be registered at this time.  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.
  10. 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: Submissions should be accompanied by a cover letter only in exceptional (or even extraordinary) circumstances. Please use the cover letter for substantive information only: for clarification on the data availability policy; or to 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.
  • If your paper is selected for publication, appendices will appear ONLY on our website and not in the printed journal. 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 and Code 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.
    See also the Chicago Manual of Style.
  • Authors may opt to publish joint papers in random order of coauthors using the symbol between author names.