Disclosure Policy

Disclosure Principles

Submissions to the AEA journals should conform to the AEA disclosure principles which state:

  1. Every submitted article should state the sources of financial support for the particular research it describes. If none, that fact should be stated.
  2. Each author of a submitted article should identify each interested party from whom he or she has received significant financial support, summing to at least $10,000 in the past three years, in the form of consultant fees, retainers, grants and the like. The disclosure requirement also includes in-kind support, such as providing access to data. If the support in question comes with a non-disclosure obligation, that fact should be stated, along with as much information as the obligation permits. If there are no such sources of funds, that fact should be stated explicitly. An “interested” party is any individual, group, or organization that has a financial, ideological, or political stake related to the article.
  3. Each author should disclose any paid or unpaid positions as officer, director, or board member of relevant non-profit organizations or profit-making entities. A “relevant” organization is one whose policy positions, goals, or financial interests relate to the article.
  4. The disclosures required above apply to any close relative or partner of any author.
  5. Each author must disclose if another party had the right to review the paper prior to its circulation.

The AEA urges its members and other economists to apply the above principles in other publications: scholarly journals, op-ed pieces, newspaper and magazine columns, radio and television commentaries, as well as in testimony before federal and state legislative committees and other agencies.


When submitting a paper, the authors should prepare a separate page entitled “Disclosure Statement” that will be uploaded using the online submission form. If the paper involves several co-authors, each coauthor should submit a separate disclosure statement.

The disclosure statement should be included even if the authors have nothing to disclose; this fact should be explicitly stated. The disclosure statement will be available to referees.

Failure to disclose relevant information at the submission stage may result in reversal of acceptance decisions. If the paper is already published, the journal reserves the right to post a note on the journal’s website and in its printed version notifying readers that the authors of the paper violated the AEA disclosure policy. Violations of the disclosure policy will be brought to the attention of the Executive Committee of the American Economic Association who will decide on the appropriate course of action in each case.

Publication of Disclosure

For published articles information on relevant potential conflicts of interest will be made available to the public.

For papers accepted for publication, disclosure will take two forms:

  1. If the disclosure statement is brief, it will be included in the “acknowledgments” footnote.
  2. If the disclosure statement is longer, then disclosure will have two parts: (i) a brief statement summarizing potential conflicts of interest that will be included in the “acknowledgments” footnote; (ii) a more detailed description of the activities and relationships that are the source of a potential conflict of interest. This more detailed account will be available to the public, but only electronically, on the journal’s website. The “acknowledgments” footnote will include a pointer/link to the detailed electronic version of the disclosure statement which will be archived on the journal’s website.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

For any paper involving the collection of data on human subjects the author(s) must disclose whether they have obtained Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval; if no IRB approval was obtained, the reason should be stated.

For example, if the authors have not obtained IRB approval because their institutions do not have IRBs, that fact should be stated. The IRB disclosure statement will be included in the “acknowledgments” footnote.