Keeping Up to Date
Top Economics Journals
It's the bane of most economists' lives, and it's never been so important. Jobs, tenure, not to mention reputation, all heavily rely on getting published – often regularly. Unsurprisingly, given its significance, there's much to consider when approaching journals. Where your work is published can have a huge effect on how it's perceived, how many people it reaches, and what kind of profile engages with it. Alarm bells need not ring, though, this article will walk you through the process, and ensure your work finds its rightful home. And to the students and those whose careers do not (yet) require constant publication, it's worth sticking around too. Getting familiarised with these journals, popular and prestigious as they are, will help with literature reviews, and keep you up-to-date with developments in the field. So regardless of where you are in your economics journey – whether fresher, PhD, or professor – take note.
1. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press
This is the oldest English language professional journal in the field of economics – and one of the most respected. It covers all aspects of the discipline, but specialises in microtheory and macroeconomics. For those who know their stuff, it is the go-to.
2. Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier
A journal with a focus on applied papers and case studies, it often includes conjectural papers which address issues less quantifiable and more descriptive than other journals in the field.
3. Journal of Finance, American Finance Association
For the related field of finance, the Journal of Finance is one of the top places to publish, along with the Review of Financial Studies and the Journal of Financial Economics.
4. Econometrica, Econometric Society
With a specialisation in econometrics, this journal has been established since 1933. In addition to its reputation, it attracts high-quality research through awarding of the Frisch Medal every two years, which recognises outstanding research published in the journal.
5. Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association
This journal commissions peer-reviewed survey and review articles which aim to keep readers informed about the current state of the economics literature. The journal also features book reviews, information about soon-to-be published books, and an index of economics dissertations from North American universities.
6. Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press
Another long-standing journal, the Journal of Political Economy was first published in 1892 and covers both theoretical and empirical work. Its specialisations include: monetary theory, fiscal policy, labour economics, development, micro and macroeconomic theory, international trade and finance, industrial organization, and social economics.
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7. American Economic Review, American Economic Association
Established in 1911, this is another well-established and highly respected journal in the field of economics. Once a year, in May, an issue is dedicated to presenting proceedings and papers from the annual meeting of the American Economic Association, so no problem if you can't make it to the meeting itself.
8. Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press
Another of economics' stalwarts, RESTUD, as it is known, is a must-read for those interested in theoretical and applied economics. It was founded with the specific aim to publish work from young and up-and-coming economics researchers; a mission which it continues to this day.
9. Review of Financial Studies, Oxford University Press
With a focus on financial economics, this journal, published on the behalf of the Society for Financial Studies, accepts both theoretical and empirical papers which fit in the intersection between finance and economics.
10. Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier
Another influential journal in the field is the Journal of Econometrics, established in 1973. The journal focuses on econometrics methodologies, and how they can be applied to substantive areas of economics.
11. The Review of Economics and Statistics, Harvard Kennedy School
Already over a hundred years old, the Review of Economics and Statistics is a general journal of applied quantitative economics. Occasionally, the journal also publishes collections of papers devoted to a single topic of contemporary interest, be it methodological or empirical.
12. Journal of Economic Growth, Springer Science+Business Media
This journal predominantly publishes research on economic growth and comparative economic development. Research is often based over the contemporary period, but sometimes also includes insights into the entire course of history. Some key topic areas include income distribution, demographic transition, human capital formation, technological change and structural transformation in the growth process.
13. Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier Science
Founded in 1975, this journal is a leader in macroeconomic research. It is often ranked highly in its specialist subject area, and accepts submissions in all areas of macroeconomics. In recent years it has published research contributions to a wide range of macroeconomic topics including: behavioral macroeconomics and fiscal shocks, all the way to pricing in product and labor markets.
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Now, with the release of the INOMICS Salary Report – based on the salary data of almost 2,000 economists – any uncertainty can be laid to rest and the question answered: in financial terms, yes, having a PhD does matter. In fact, to say that it matters is something of an understatement – such is its influence on an economist’s future earnings.