AEA Papers and Proceedings Guidelines

Papers and supporting materials should be e-mailed to our office no later than Friday, JANUARY 12, 2018.

We must receive the following:

● Cover sheet;

● Disclosure Statement(s);

● Data Availability Agreement (PDF);

● Copyright Transfer Agreement form(s) (PDF) from each author;

● Abstract (in Word format, no more than 100 words);

● Final paper in PDF format;

● Native file (in LaTeX, Scientific Word, or Word), native graphic and/or table files, and the aux and any bbl file if you are using LaTeX (provided in a zip file if there are multiple files);

● Additional materials or online appendices (if any) to be posted on our website in PDF format or in a zip file;

● Data, programs, and the accompanying readme (if any) in a zip file.

E-mail these items to

Please label your files before e-mailing them. Each filename should clearly indicate if the file is a "manuscript," "data," "appendix," or "figures." Each filename should contain the last name of the corresponding author (which should also be included in the subject line of the e-mail).

Detailed descriptions of these required items appear below.


Include a cover page containing:

● Paper title;

● Full name, mailing address, and e-mail addresses for each author;

● Indication of which author is the corresponding author. It is critical that we know where to reach you between January and May;

● Session title, session chair, and discussants.


All papers must be accompanied by Disclosure Statements.  This is applicable even when authors have no relevant interests to disclose.  You must provide a separate Disclosure Statement for each coauthor.  The statements must also disclose whether IRB approval was obtained for the project, and if not, state the reason(s).  The statements will be posted on the AEA Papers and Proceedings website with your paper.


Please use the Data Availability Agreement to indicate the type of data used in your paper and, if necessary, make a data exemption request. Include a PDF of the completed sheet in your final submission package.


EACH author/coauthor must submit a separate, signed Copyright Transfer Agreement form at the time you submit your final files (manuscript, dataset, and disclosure). Please be sure that each form contains the manuscript title and the author's signature. Also, each author must specify whether implicit or explicit consent is preferred in regard to our permission to reprint policy. A paper for which there are no signed copyright transfer agreement form(s) cannot be published. Please contact the editorial office if you forsee any problems involving this requirement.

Authors are permitted to post published versions of their articles on their personal websites.


Please summarize your research in no more than 100 words. Please send this as a Word.doc, separate from your paper. Your abstract will be made available on our website but will not appear in the print journal.

MANUSCRIPT (PDF and Native Files):

Formatting templates and instructions are available for users of LaTeX, Scientific Word, and Word. View AEA templates.

When using the LaTeX or SW templates, please select the "finalmode" class option.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Page limits are firm. Because of space constraints, exceptions will NOT be made. Papers that do not adhere to the guidelines will be returned to the author. If, after being returned, the paper is not edited to conform to the guidelines, the paper will NOT be published.

If your paper is part of a:

5-paper session: 

4-pages; (i.e., 4 pages if using our LaTeX/SW templates, 6 pages if using our Word template (if you are not using our templates: 8 double-spaced pages)), including all text, figures, tables, footnotes, acknowledgements, and references.

4-paper session:

5 pages; (i.e., 5 pages if using our LaTeX/SW templates, 7 pages if using our Word template (if you are not using our templates: 10 double-spaced pages)), including all text, figures, tables, footnotes, acknowledgements, and references.

3-paper session:

6-pages; (i.e., 6 pages if using our LaTeX/SW templates, 9 pages if using our Word template (if you are not using our templates: 12 double-spaced pages)), including all text, figures, tables, footnotes, acknowledgements, and references.

If you are not using our templates, your text must be:


● With a 1-inch side, top, and bottom margin.


Tables are to be AVOIDED unless absolutely necessary due to space constraints. When used, they should:

● Be embedded in the text or have their location shown with a placement indicator. If you have inserted your tables from Word or Excel, please include the native files;

● Contain no more than 9 columns including any row headings;

● Be able to survive reduction to single-column width (2 5/8 inches or 6.8 cm);

● Be numbered consecutively with Arabic numbers;

● Not have vertical lines to show space distinctions (use only horizontal lines and additional blank space if necessary);

● Not have any shading;

● Use Panel A and Panel B to denote sections of a table;

● Not contain abbreviated column headings. Spell out "percent"; do not use the percent sign. Place a zero in front of the decimal point in all decimal fractions (i.e., 0.357, not .357).

For footnotes pertaining to specific table entries, footnote keys should be lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.); these footnotes should follow the more general table Note(s) or Source(s). Please do not use stars to denote significance of estimation results.  Just report the standard errors in parenthesis.

Figures are to be AVOIDED unless absolutely necessary due to space constraints. When used:

● Figures or, minimally, a placement indicator for figures, should be in the text with titles, legend, etc., where applicable;

● Native graphic files must be provided. They MUST be submitted in PDF, EPS, AI, WMF, or PPT format. Photographs and raster images should be saved at 300 dpi;

● Figures should be able to survive reduction to single-column width (2 5/8 inches or 6.8 cm).

The AEA 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.

Mathematical equations are to be kept to a minimum, as space is limited:

● Equations should be typed on separate lines and numbered consecutively at the left margin, using Arabic numbers in parentheses;

● Please 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.

Overscores and underscores (bar, caret, and tilde) may be used, but must be clearly distinguishable. If you use bar underscores, do not use bar underscores elsewhere in your math to indicate italics.

Fractions: 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.

Footnotes should be kept to a minimum. Embed all footnotes. The initial footnote giving the contact information for each author should be marked with an asterisk (*). The asterisk is followed by each author’s department, affiliation, address, e-mail address, and acknowledgements. The remaining footnotes should be numbered consecutively (i.e., *, 1, 2, 3, etc.).

Section heads: DO NOT begin with "Introduction" as a section head. Section headings should be given Roman numerals (I, II, etc.); subsections should be lettered A, B, etc.

Reference to articles and books in the text: For citations in the text, use author last name(s) only followed by year of publication in parentheses. When listing a string of references within the text, arrange first in chronological order, then alphabetically within years. If there are four or more authors, refer to the first author, followed by et al. and the year. If there is more than one publication referred to in the same year by the author(s), use the year and a, b, etc. (example: 1997a, b). Referenced year and spelling of last name in the text must match those in the reference section exactly. LaTeX and Scientific Word users, please use the aea.bst file provided in the template package.

References to individuals in the text: Do NOT use such titles as Mister, Doctor, Professor, etc.

Organizations or governmental agencies in the text: On first references, use the full name followed by the abbreviation in parentheses. Subsequent references should use abbreviation only; for example: Social Science Research Council (SSRC) [first reference], SSRC [subsequently].

Quotations must correspond exactly to the original in wording, spelling, and punctuation. Page numbers must be given. Changes must be indicated: use brackets to identify insertions; use ellipsis dots (...) to show omissions. Also indicate where emphasis has been added. Only lengthy quotations (more than 50 words) should be separated from the text; such quotations must be double-spaced and indented at the left margin.

Reference section: Use full names of authors and/or editors. List all authors/editors up to/including ten names. Authors of articles and books and material without specific authors or editors, such as government documents or bulletins, are to be listed alphabetically. Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style’s “Author-Date” style. LaTeX and Scientific Word users, please use the aea.bst file.

We encourage you to use bibliographic software when preparing your reference list. If you are using bibliographic software please select "Chicago Author-Date."

Not all document types are covered in reference list software. We include helpful guidelines for several document types on our Sample References page.

References to datasets should be included in your reference list. You can find examples of how to cite datasets on our Sample References page.


Given the length constraint of papers, you are free to post additional materials, including appendices (e.g., additional proofs for a theoretical paper, additional results for an empirical paper, details of experimental design for an experimental paper) on the AEA Papers and Proceedings website. Since only one file can be posted, please submit one PDF or one zip file for the material. Please note that online appendices will be posted without being typeset or copyedited by the AEA.


All papers published in AEA Papers and Proceedings are required to adhere to the data availability policy.

(Please note, exemptions are granted for papers developed with data belonging to a third party; exemptions can not be given to authors wishing to withhold data they hope to use elsewhere.)

See our Data Availability Policy.  Please provide the data, programs, and an explanatory readme in a zip file. The Readme PDF file should list all files included in the file, document the purpose and format of each file, and provide information instructing users on how replication can be conducted.

If your paper requires a data exemption, you MUST submit a readme file with specific details on how others can obtain and use the data supporting your paper and provide any necessary programs.

Data zip files must be received no later than August 31, 2018.


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.

If you have any questions, please contact the AEA Papers and Proceedings for clarification: (412) 432-2300 or