Larry Samuelson Part of Inaugural AEA Journal

Monday, December 4, 2017
Larry Samuelson

Larry Samuelson, the Cowles Foundation Director and A. Douglas Melamed Professor of Economics, has been named a coeditor of a new American Economic Association journal called the American Economic Review: Insights (AER). According to the organization, the quarterly journal aims to “provide a high-quality outlet for important yet concise contributions to economics, both empirical and theoretical.”

“One striking characteristic of papers in economics journals is that the papers have been steadily growing longer,” said Samuelson. “This journal is an experimental attempt to provide some balance to this trend, in the form of a prominent outlet for short papers.”

In the spirit of brevity, AER: Insights hopes to model its articles after such succinct papers as “The Pure Theory of Public Expenditure.” The three-page landmark paper written by economist and Nobel laureate, Paul Samuelson, focuses on the efficient provisions of public goods and appeared in the Review of Economics and Statistics in 1954.

To make AER: Insights one of “the most efficient journals in the economics profession,” paper submission can be no longer than 6,000 words (about one-third the length the of a typical AER article). The goal is to have first responses within three months at most, and editors will ask for revisions back from the authors within eight weeks.

When asked his thoughts on the initial submission rate, Samuelson said he is optimistic it will be high. “I suspect submissions to start off slowly, as economists are not in the habit of writing short papers, but then hope that they pick up.” 

Although Samuelson does not have a firm date as to when the first issue will publish, he said, “It would be nice to have issues appearing in 2019.”

For more on the AER: Insights, visit the journal’s website.