• Member Announcement
  • March 9, 2020

AEA procedures for violations of Code of Conduct and Policy on Harassment and Discrimination

To: Members of the American Economic Association
From: Janet Yellen, President

The American Economic Association has taken several important steps to improve the professional climate in economics. As part of this continuing effort, today we are pleased to report on establishing a set of guidelines for investigating complaints that officers and/or members of the Association have violated the Association's Code of Conduct and Policy on Harassment and Discrimination.

The AEA Code of Professional Conduct, adopted by the Executive Committee in April 2018 after consultation with the membership, was supplemented by a more detailed Policy on Harassment and Discrimination, also ratified by the Executive Committee. Acknowledgment and acceptance of both the Code and the harassment and discrimination policy is now required for participation in any AEA-sponsored activity or committee. During 2019, AEA members voted to amend the AEA bylaws to add a provision so that a member and/or officer who violates the Code or the Policy may be sanctioned or membership may be terminated as voted by a two-thirds majority vote of the Board of Trustees. The amended bylaws can be read in their entirety at https://www.aeaweb.org/resources/member-docs/certificate-of-incorporation-bylaws.

The new guidelines for investigating complaints, and, if necessary, imposing sanctions, have been approved by the Executive Committee and are effective immediately.  They are posted on the AEA website at https://www.aeaweb.org/about-aea/aea-policy-harassment-discrimination/procedures. Instructions for filing formal complaints with the Association's Ethics Committee, and for consulting with the AEA Ombudsperson about potential complaints, are also available at https://www.aeaweb.org/about-aea/aea-policy-harassment-discrimination/formal-complaint and https://www.aeaweb.org/about-aea/aea-ombudsperson/faq.

The Association remains committed to improving the professional climate in economics and considers the adoption of these guidelines another important step in helping make our field accessible and welcoming to anyone with the interest and ability to make a career in it. We ask for the support of all members in these efforts.