American Economic Association

Celebrating 125 Years of Encouraging Economic Research

General Information

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History and Objectives

The American Economic Association was organized in 1885 at a meeting in Saratoga, New York, by a small group interested in economics. It was incorporated in Washington, DC, on February 3, 1923. The purposes of the Association are:

  1. The encouragement of economic research, especially the historical and statistical study of the actual conditions of industrial life.
  2. The issue of publications on economic subjects.
  3. The encouragement of perfect freedom of economic discussion. The Association as such will take no partisan attitude, nor will it commit its members to any position on practical economic questions.

The spirit of these objectives has been maintained throughout the history of the Association. Once composed primarily of college and university teachers of economics, the Association now attracts an increasing number of members from business and professional groups. Today the membership is ca. 18,000, over half of whom are academics. About 15% are employed in business and industry, and the remainder largely by federal, state, and local government or other not-for-profit organizations.

Benefits of AEA Membership

Journals of the Association

The American Economic Review

The American Economic Review® (AER) was first published in 1911. Each of its four quarterly issues contains articles and shorter papers on economic subjects. An additional May issue contains the Papers and Proceedings (P&P) of the annual meeting. Selected papers presented at the meetings are published along with reports of officers, committees and representatives. The AER was the most widely viewed journal among all 775 journals in JSTOR in 2006 and 2007. It is available in print, on CD, and on the Internet. The guidelines for Papers and Proceedings are available here.

The Journal of Economic Literature

The Journal of Economic Abstracts began publication in 1963. In 1969 it expanded into the Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) with issues appearing in March, June, September, and December. JEL contains commissioned survey and review articles, book reviews, an annotated list of new books classified by subject matter, and (in electronic form only) indexes of articles from economics periodicals. JEL is available in print, on CD, and on the Internet. The CD edition includes indexing and abstracts for all the journals included in EconLit.

The Journal of Economic Perspectives

The Association introduced the Journal of Economic Perspectives (JEP) in 1987; issues appear in February, May, August, and November. JEP’s mission is to provide accessible articles that report on and critique recent research findings, evaluate public policy initiatives, and serve as insightful readings for classroom use. The Editors expect the JEP to facilitate the diffusion of current research not only within academe, but also in the public sector and business community. Articles are commissioned by the Editor. The JEP is available in print, on CD, and on the Internet.

American Economic Journals

The Association is initiating four new journals in 2009, under the common title of American Economic Journal. The new journals are subtitled: (1) Applied Economics; (2) Economic Policy; (2) Macroeconomics; and (1) Microeconomics. All fields of economics are included in at least one of the new journals. Members receive access to the new journals electronically at the current dues level, and may obtain print copies of the selections of their choice for a modest additional fee. From 2009, institutional subscriptions will include all seven Association journals. Information about the content of each journal, their editorial staffs, submission and review policies, publication schedules, and subscription information is available at

The Association’s journals are available online to members in advance of print publication. The website includes back issues of each journal and a link to JSTOR. Members may secure a password and gain access at

Other Publications and Services

A Directory of Members is available electronically. It is an ongoing, continuous Directory, depending on regular updates by our members. It contains a brief biographical listing of members.

Job Openings for Economists (JOE) originated in October 1974. It is published electronically monthly (except January and July). JOE lists job vacancies for economists. JOE is available only via the Internet at

EconLit is an electronic database containing almost 40 years of economics journal articles, books, dissertations, articles in collected works, working papers, and book reviews. It is available through libraries and institutions and directly to members via the Association’s website. Access may be online or by CD-ROM. For information, contact your library or write to JEL, 2403 Sidney Street, #260, Pittsburgh, PA 15203 provides information about the AEA, its activities, and journals; provides access to e-AER, e-JEL, and e-JEP (for members only), instructions for using EconLit and RFE, a web page of links and descriptions of Resources for Economists on the Internet.

Electronic Access. Issues of the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Literature, and Journal of Economic Perspectives published since 2002 are available online for members at

Awards. The Association recognizes the lifetime research contributions of three distinguished economists annually by electing them Distinguished Fellows. Bi-annually the Association awards the John Bates Clark Medal for outstanding research accomplishments in economics to a scholar under the age of 40. The Association also maintains a roster of distinguished Foreign Honorary Members. Prior fellows, Clark medalists, and Foreign Honorary Members are listed on the AEA homepage.

Annual Meeting. AEA, in conjunction with over 50 associations in related disciplines, holds a three-day meeting to present papers on general economic subjects. About 500 scholarly sessions are held each year. A placement service operates to assist employers and job applicants; it begins a day prior to the meetings. All members are invited to attend the annual business meeting, which takes place during this period. Meetings are scheduled for January 3-5, 2009, in San Francisco; January 3-5, 2010, in Atlanta; January 7-9, 2011, in Denver; January 6-8, 2012, in Chicago; January 4-6, 2013, in San Diego, and January 3-5, 2014 in Philadelphia. See, the “Notes” section in JEP or the advertising section of the AER and JEL for future dates and locations. The annual call for papers is on the Association’s home page. The deadline is usually February 28 of the prior year. AEA members receive a discount on the registration fee to the annual meeting.

Committees with Special Activities. Contributions to the profession are made by the continuing work of AEA’s Committee on Economic Education, Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession, Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession, and Committee on Economic Statistics.

Statistics. The Association conducts an annual survey of academic economics departments and reports results in the May issue of the AER. Included are salaries, distributions of faculty by rank, sex and race, trends in undergraduate enrollments, and information about graduate programs in economics.

Membership. Individual members of the American Economic Association receive online access to all seven of the Association's journals.  AEA members receive 3 journals in print or CD (their choice) of each issue of the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Literature, and the Journal of Economic Perspectives.  All members receive a print copy of the first issue of the all four American Economic Journals (AEJ); Applied Economic, Economic Policy, Macroeconomics and Microeconomics. Members may continue receiving print copies of the American Economic Journals of their choice by requesting them at  Selected copies of the AEJs continue free of charge until the first membership renewal after December 2009.

Subscriptions. Only individuals may become members. Libraries, institutions or firms may become subscribers. Subscribers receive print copies of all of the Association’s journals but do not vote in the election of officers. Library site licenses for online access to current issues of the Association’s journals are available.

Information for Students. The Association maintains websites that provide information for prospective undergraduate economics majors and for prospective economics Masters and Ph.D. students. See: and Students may join the Association at a discounted rate.

Organizations of which AEA is a Member

Council of Professional Association on Federal Statistics (COPAFS)
Consortium of Social Science Association (COSSA)
American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)
International Economic Association (IEA)
Commission on Professionals in Science & Technology (CPST)

Business Office

American Economic Association
2014 Broadway, Suite 305
Nashville, TN 37203
Phone: (615) 322-2595
Fax: (615) 343-7590
Home Page for member services

Meeting Minutes

Whistleblower Policy

This page last updated 12/5/08

©2010 American Economic Association