AEA Reference Style (with Examples)

The AEA uses the Chicago Manual of Style Author-Date system for all common publication types.  The following guidelines and examples are intended to provide information for less common sources.


When referencing datasets, please include the author name or name of the provider hosting the data, the year the data were collected or posted, the name or title of the dataset, the name of the database if applicable, and any other information necessary for one to retrieve the data. Please include the date accessed in parentheses at the end.

For data references specifically associated with a published paper, please include the Author Name(s). Year. “Paper Title: Dataset.” Journal Name. Location of the data.


  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 2000–2010. “Current Employment Statistics: Colorado, Total Nonfarm, Seasonally adjusted - SMS08000000000000001.” United States Department of Labor. bin/surveymost?sm+08 (accessed February 9, 2011).
  2. Leiss, Amelia. 1999. “Arms Transfers to Developing Countries, 1945–1968.” Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, Ann Arbor, MI. ICPSR05404-v1.
  3. Romer, Christina D., and David H. Romer. 2010. "Replication data for: The Macroeconomic Effects of Tax Changes: Estimates Based on a New Measure of Fiscal Shocks." American Economic Association [publisher], Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor].
  4. Ankita Patnaik, "Data for: Reserving Time for Daddy: The Consequences of Fathers’ Quotas," Journal of Labor Economics 37, no. 4 (October 2019): 1009-1059.

RCT or Study Registrations

Authors of papers using randomized control trials should include a self-reference using the following format: Author Names. Year. "Title." AEA RCT Registry. Month Day. DOI. For more information, see the RCT Registry page.


Zhang, Kelly. 2017. "Voter Pessimism and Electoral Accountability: Experimental Evidence from Kenya." AEA RCT Registry. May 02.

Multivolume Works

Multivolume works include works such as encyclopedias, multivolume works published over several years, and multivolume works published in a single year. Below are a few examples.


  1. Kohama, Hirohisa, ed. 2003. Asian Development Experience. Volume 1. External Factors in Asian Development. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
  2. Kusuoka, Shigeo, and Akira Yamazaki, ed. 2006. Advances in Mathematical Economics. Volume 8. New York: Springer.
  3. Mokyr, Joel, ed. 2003. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History. 5 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Working Papers

Only papers appearing as part of an institution’s working papers series should be classified as working papers. These should always include a specific working paper number as assigned by the institution.

Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Title.” Type of Working Paper (such as institution, working series title) and number.


  1. Ausubel, Lawrence M. 1997. “An Efficient Ascending-Bid Auction for Multiple Objects.” University of Maryland Faculty Working Paper 97–06.
  2. Heidhues, Paul, and Botond Kőszegi. 2005. “The Impact of Consumer Loss Aversion on Pricing.” Centre for Economic Policy Research Discussion Paper 4849.

Unpublished Papers

When a paper has not been published but can be found on the Web (such as the author’s website or the university website), use the following format: Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Title.” URL.  Accessed on Date. Please provide a URL that links to the full text of the article.

When a paper has not been published and does not appear on any website, use the following format: Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Title.” Unpublished.


  1. Zitzewitz, Eric. 2006. “How Widespread Was Late Trading in Mutual Funds?” Accessed on 2019-12-08.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron, Pol Atràs, and Elhanan Helpman. 2006. “Contracts and Technology Adoption.” Unpublished.

Lectures and Papers Presented at Meetings

Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Title.” Paper presented at followed by meeting name, place, and city where the lecture/meeting took place.


  1. Romer, Christina D., and David H. Romer. 2006. “The Evolution of Economic Understanding and Postwar Stabilization Policy.” Paper presented at the Rethinking Stabilization Policy Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas Symposium, Jackson Hole, WY.
  2. Goldin, Claudia. 2006. “The Quiet Revolution that Transformed Women’s Employment, Education, and Family.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Allied Social Science Associations, Boston.

Newspapers, Online Encyclopedias, and Reference Works

Because newspapers, magazines, and encyclopedias are continuously updated, they should be cited as footnotes in the text. They should not be included in the reference list. Undated sources should always include an access date along with the URL. When possible, use the URL assigned to the specific content you are citing.

Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Title.” Magazine, Month and Day. URL.


  1. Becker, Gary S. 1993. “The Evidence against Blacks Doesn’t Prove Bias.” Business Week, April 19.

Books Published Electronically

If a book is available in more than one format, cite the version you consulted. For books consulted online, list a URL. If no fixed page numbers are available, you can include a section title or a chapter or other number.

Author Last Name, First Name. Year. Title. City: Publisher. Format.


  1. Austen, Jane. 2007. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Penguin Classics. Kindle edition.
  2. Kurland, Philip B., and Ralph Lerner, eds. 1987. The Founders’ Constitution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

ⓡ Random Order of Author Names

The American Economic Association permits the publication of joint papers in random order of coauthors with the symbol ⓡ between author names.  The use of ⓡ signals to the reader that the authors' names have been randomized using a uniform distribution. More information, see the ⓡ Random Order of Author Names page.


Papers with two authors:

Ray, Debraj ⓡ Arthur Robson. 2018. "Certified Random: A New Order for Coauthorship." American Economic Review 108 (2): 489–520.

Papers with three or more authors:

Dworczak, Piotr ⓡ Scott Duke Kominers ⓡ Mohammad Akbarpour. 2018. "Redistribution through Markets." Unpublished.

For multiple authors, instead of using et al. when citing a work in the main text, then the following convention will be adopted:

Dworczak ⓡ al. (2018)