American Economic Journal:
Applied Economics

ISSN 1945-7782 (Print) | ISSN 1945-7790 (Online)

Style Guide

Title and Byline

Manuscripts should not include a title page. Title and byline should be placed at the top of the first page.

Acknowledgement Footnote

In a note at the bottom of the first page, include the following:

  • An email address for each author.
  • The institutions and/or grant numbers of any financial support you have received for your research.
  • Personal acknowledgement of individuals who have contributed criticism on earlier drafts of your paper.
  • Details regarding IRB approval, if applicable.
  • A statement including the AEA RCT identification number if your work involved a randomized controlled trial.


An abstract is required for all articles, comments, and replies and must not exceed 100 words.

Section Headings

Section headings should follow traditional outline format: Roman numerals (I., II., etc.) for major section headings, followed by capital letters (A., B., etc.) for the first subsection, etc. The introductory section should not receive a heading.


Notes of reference, explanation, or comments are placed as footnotes (as opposed to endnotes), which appear below the text on the relevant printed page.

Text Citations and Reference List Entries

Text citations and reference list entries should follow author-date style (see Chicago Manual of Style).  Each text citation should have a corresponding entry in the list of references.

Data sources and registered studies used in the research must be included in the reference list.  See Reference List Entries for Datasets and Registered Studies.

Text citations with one to three authors should include all author names; for more than three authors, list only the name of the first author followed by "et al."  Reference list entries with one to ten authors should include all author names; for eleven or more authors, list the first seven, followed by a comma and "et al."

LaTeX and Scientific Word users may use the aea.bst file provided in the AEA templates.

Mathematical Equations

  • Equations should appear on separate lines and be numbered consecutively at the left margin, using Arabic numbers in parentheses.
  • Use italics for scalar variables, use boldface to specify vectors and matrices, and use script for sets.
  • Subscripts and superscripts must be easily distinguished from regular variables and from each other. Use only two levels of sub- and superscripts.
  • When equations in the text contain fractions, use a slash "/" or solidus and clearly denote numerator and denominator with parentheses. Display fractions that are too complicated to keep in the text on a separate line.
  • Blackboard font should be used to indicate real numbers, integers, and natural numbers only.


  • Columns must be in vertical (or portrait) orientation.
  • Tables must be no more than 9 columns wide including row headings.
  • Number your tables consecutively with Arabic numerals.
  • Use only horizontal lines and additional blank space to show space distinction.
  • Do not use shading.
  • Do not abbreviate in column headings.
  • To denote sections of a table, use Panel A, Panel B, etc.
  • Place a zero in front of the decimal point in all decimal fractions (e.g., 0.357, not .357).
  • For footnotes pertaining to specific table entries, footnote keys should be lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.). 
  • Do not use asterisks to denote significance of estimation results. Report the standard errors in parentheses.
  • Place source note, if any, after other notes related to the table.
  • Include full citations of sources in the references.


Figures must be submitted in PDF, EPS, AI, WMF, or PPT. Format photographs and raster images at 300 dpi. If there are variables (italics) or matrices and vectors (boldface) in figures, they should be designated as such.

Be sure to label your native figure files clearly, taking special care to use letters for indicating individual panels (e.g., Figure1a.ppt, Figure1b.ppt, Figure1c.ppt, etc.). It is important that these files correspond to the figures in your accompanying PDF.

Place source note, if any, after other notes related to the figure.

Note: The journal cannot reprint imagery owned by a third party without the formal written consent of the copyright holder. This can include, but is not limited to, reproductions of advertisements, maps, diagrams, corporate logos, and screen shots of web pages.


Designate multiple appendices A, B, C, as necessary. Number equations, theorems, propositions, etc. within the appendix as (A1), (A2), etc.