Journal of Economic Literature (J ECON LIT )

Publisher: American Economic Association, American Economic Association

Journal description

Presents economics-related survey and review articles, book reviews, and bibliographic indexes to current literature.

Current impact factor: 9.24

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2015
2009 Impact Factor 6.919

Additional details

5-year impact 9.43
Cited half-life 0.00
Immediacy index 0.85
Eigenfactor 0.02
Article influence 9.82
Website Journal of Economic Literature website
Other titles Journal of economic literature
ISSN 0022-0515
OCLC 1788942
Material type Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Journal / Magazine / Newspaper, Internet Resource

Publisher details

American Economic Association

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
  • Conditions
    • On non-commercial author's website or open access repositories
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged
    • Eligible UK authors may deposit in OpenDepot
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This essay reviews Lawrence Freedman's book Strategy: A History. The main themes—definitions, strategies in war, business, politics, and revolutions—are overviewed. The value of game-theoretic thinking for practical strategy is assessed. A critical discussion of some concepts and dichotomies emphasized by Freedman, e.g., strategy is governed by the starting point, not the end point, and of the role of stories and scripts in strategy, follows.
    Journal of Economic Literature 12/2014; 52(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Martin L. Weitzman of Harvard University reviews “Nature in the Balance: The Economics of Biodiversity”, by Dieter Helm and Cameron Hepburn. The Econlit abstract of this book begins: “Fourteen papers present an economic approach to biodiversity, specifically the conceptual and empirical work on valuation, international agreements, the policy instruments, and the institutions, and address the economic issues involved in biodiversity protection. Papers discuss the economic analysis of biodiversity; biodiversity–its meanings, roles, and status; identifying and mapping biodiversity–where can we damage?; the U.K. National Ecosystem Assessment–valuing changes in ecosystem services; valuing ecosystem services and biodiversity; the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity–challenges and responses; natural capital; biodiversity and national accounting; a review of biodiversity, poverty, and development; regulating global biodiversity–what is the problem?; whether biodiversity policies work–the case for Conservation Evaluation 2.0; whether investments promote biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services are aligned; incentives, private ownership, and biodiversity conservation; and the potential for speculation to threaten biodiversity loss. Helm is a professor and Fellow in Economics with the New College at the University of Oxford, and Chairman of the Independent Natural Capital Committee. Hepburn is Professor of Environmental Economics in the Smith School and the Institute of New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School, all at the University of Oxford.”
    Journal of Economic Literature 12/2014; 52(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Gary Fethke and Andrew Policano's book Public No More: A New Path to Excellence for America's Public Universities paints a picture of a future for public research universities that is very different than what many people will want to see. Their message is that the financial and governance models under which public universities have operated have broken down and that new models are required. While I do not always agree with their prescriptions, I argue that private research universities face many of the same issues as their public counterparts and that this book deserves to be widely read by all people concerned with the future of American higher education.
    Journal of Economic Literature 12/2014; 52(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Ben Brooks of the Becker Friedman Institute reviews “GameChanger: Game Theory and the Art of Transforming Strategic Situations”, by David McAdams. The Econlit abstract of this book begins: “Introduces the reader to a gametheory approach to life, including business, and presents six ways to change games that people are confronted with. Discusses commitment; inviting regulation; merging or “colluding”; enabling retaliation; building trust; leveraging relationships; how to escape the prisoners' dilemma; price comparison sites; the Newfoundland cod collapse; the real estate agency; addicts in the emergency department; eBay reputation; and antibiotic resistance. McAdams is Professor in the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.”
    Journal of Economic Literature 12/2014; 52(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Joshua C. Teitelbaum of Georgetown University reviews “Reflections on Judging”, by Richard A. Posner. The Econlit abstract of this book begins: “Explores the challenges that the federal courts face today, with particular emphasis on rising complexity, drawing upon Richard Posner's personal experience as a judge. Discusses Posner's road to the U.S. Court of Appeals; the federal judiciary evolving; the challenge of complexity; formalism and realism in appellate decision making; the inadequate appellate record; coping strategies for appellate judges–judicial self-restraint; coping strategies for appellate judges–interpretation; making it simple, making it new–opinion writing and appellate advocacy; forays into the district court; and potential solutions. Posner is Circuit Judge with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.”
    Journal of Economic Literature 12/2014; 52(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Shane Greenstein of Northwestern University reviews “The Economics of Information Security and Privacy”, by Rainer Bohme. The Econlit abstract of this book begins: “Thirteen papers, revised and previously presented at the 11th Workshop on the Economics of Information Security held in Berlin in June 2012, explore the economics of information security and privacy, focusing on the management of information security, the economics of information security, the economics of privacy, and the economics of cybercrime. Papers discuss information security costs; whether to invest or not to invest–assessing the economic viability of a policy and security configuration management tool; ad-blocking games–monetizing online content under the threat of ad avoidance; software security economics–theory, in practice; an empirical study on information security behaviors and awareness; sectoral and regional interdependency of Japanese firms under the influence of information security risks; whether we can afford integrity by proof-of-work–scenarios inspired by the Bitcoin currency; online promiscuity–prophylactic patching and the spread of computer transmitted infections; the privacy economics of voluntary overdisclosure in web forms; choice architecture and smartphone privacy–there's a price for that; personal data disclosure in a simulated credit card application; measuring the cost of cybercrime; and an analysis of e-crime in crowd-sourced labor markets–Mechanical Turk versus Freelancer. Böhme is with the European Research Center for Information Systems at the University of Münster.”
    Journal of Economic Literature 12/2014; 52(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Eric Alden Smith of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Washington reviews “The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire”, by Kent Flannery and Joyce Marcus. The Econlit abstract of this book begins: “Explores the creation of inequality and how our prehistoric ancestors set the stage for monarchy, slavery, and empire. Discusses genesis and exodus; JeanJacques Rousseau's “state of nature”; ancestors and enemies; why our ancestors had religion and the arts; inequality without agriculture; agriculture and achieved renown; the ritual buildings of achievement-based societies; the prehistory of the ritual house; prestige and equality in four Native American societies; the rise and fall of hereditary inequality in farming societies; three sources of power in chiefly societies; the move from ritual house to temple in the Americas; aristocracy without chiefs; temples and inequality in early Mesopotamia; the chiefly societies in our backyard; how to turn rank into stratification–tales of the South Pacific; how to create a kingdom; three of the New World's first-generation kingdoms; the land of the “Scorpion King”; an analysis of two African kingdoms for which both native and European accounts are available; the nursery of civilization; graft and imperialism; how new empires learn from old; and inequality and natural law. Flannery is James B. Griffin Distinguished University Professor of Anthropological Archaeology and Curator in Environmental Archaeology at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. Marcus is Robert L. Carneiro Distinguished University Professor of Social Evolution and Curator in Latin American Archaeology at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Michigan.”
    Journal of Economic Literature 12/2014; 52(4).
  • Article: Tax Systems
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    ABSTRACT: David Albouy of the Department of Economics at the University of Illinois reviews “Tax Systems”, by Joel Slemrod and Christian Gillitzer. The Econlit abstract of this book begins: “Presents a tax-systems approach for addressing many critical tax policy issues. Discusses the need for tax-system analysis; standard optimal tax models; multiple behavioral margins; multiple sources of costs; tax base elasticity; multiple tax-system instruments; the general model; standard instruments with new costs; endogenous elasticity; optimal observability and complexity; notches and optimal line drawing; and future directions. Slemrod is Paul W. McCracken Collegiate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy in the Ross School of Business, Professor of Economics, and Chair of the Economics Department at the University of Michigan. Gillitzer is a graduate student of economics at the University of Michigan.”
    Journal of Economic Literature 12/2014; 52(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Alejandra Irigoin of the Economic History Department at the London School of Economics reviews “The House of Rothschild in Spain, 1812-1941”, by Miguel A LopezMorell, translated by Stephen P. Hasler. The Econlit abstract of this book begins: “Originally published in Spanish. Explores the importance and impact of the Rothschild family's investment in Spain during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Discusses early contacts and failed attempts to set up in Spain, 1812-33; liberalism, corruption, and war finances, 1833-40; the contradictions of peace–financial problems of the state and the first moves toward modernity, 1840-55; financing the railways; years of financial euphoria and crisis, 1856-68; the great operations of the Sexenio; the Rothschilds' waning importance in public finances, 1874-1900; the industrial investments, 1874-1913; the first symptoms of the end of an investment model; the slow journey toward the end of the Rothschild investments in Spain; fundamentals of the Rothschilds' activities in Spain; and the consequences of the Rothschild years, 1812-1941. López-Morell is at the University of Murcia.”
    Journal of Economic Literature 12/2014; 52(4).
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    ABSTRACT: Twenty-one papers explore approaches and issues in post-Keynesian economics, with a special focus on critiques and methodology. Papers discuss the microfoundations of macroeconomics; post-Keynesian economics, rationality, and conventions; methodology and post-Keynesian economics; post-Keynesian perspectives on some philosophical dimensions of John Maynard Keynes's economic thinking; two post-Keynesian approaches to uncertainty and irreducible uncertainty; interdisciplinary applications of post-Keynesian economics; post-Keynesian economics, critical realism, and social ontology; the traverse, equilibrium analysis, and post-Keynesian economics; a personal view of post-Keynesian elements in the development of economic complexity theory and its application to policy; how sound are the foundations of the aggregate production function?; Karl Marx and the post-Keynesians; macroeconomics and the L-shaped aggregate supply curve; a post-Keynesian perspective on the rise of central bank independence—a dubious success story in monetary economics; the post-Keynesian critique of the mainstream theory of the state and the post-Keynesian approaches to economic policy; a modern Kaleckian–Keynesian framework for economic theory and policy; post-Keynesian principles and economic policies; post-Keynesian distribution of personal income and pay; environmental economics and policy; theorizing about post-Keynesian economics in Australasia—aggregate demand, economic growth, and income distribution policy; the neoclassical sink and the heterodox spiral—why the twin global crisis has not transformed economics; and Keynesianism and the crisis. Harcourt is Emeritus Reader in the History of Economic Theory and Emeritus Fellow in Jesus College at Cambridge University and Professor Emeritus at the University of Adelaide. Kriesler is Associate Professor in the School of Economics at the University of New South Wales.
    Journal of Economic Literature 09/2014; 52(3).
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    ABSTRACT: This essay reviews Kenneth I. Wolpin's (2013) monograph The Limits of Inference without Theory, which arose from lectures he presented at the Cowles Foundation in 2010 in honor of Tjalling Koopmans. While I readily agree with Wolpin's basic premise that empirical work that eschews the role of economic theory faces unnecessary self-imposed limits relative to empirical work that embraces and tries to test and improve economic theory, it is important to be aware that the use of economic theory is not a panacea. I point out that there are also serious limits to inference with theory: 1) there may be no truly “structural” (policy invariant) parameters, a key assumption underpinning the structural econometric approach that Wolpin and the Cowles Foundation have championed; 2) there is a curse of dimensionality that makes it very difficult for us to elucidate the detailed implications of economic theo- ries, which is necessary to empirically implement and test these theories; 3) there is an identification problem that makes it impossible to decide between competing theories without imposing ad hoc auxiliary assumptions (such as parametric functional form assumptions); and 4) there is a problem of multiplicity and indeterminacy of equilib- ria that limits the predictive empirical content of many economic theories. I conclude that though these are very challenging problems, I agree with Wolpin and the Cowles Foundation that economists have far more to gain by trying to incorporate economic theory into empirical work and test and improve our theories than by rejecting theory and presuming that all interesting economic issues can be answered by well-designed controlled, randomized experiments and assuming that difficult questions of causality and evaluation of alternative hypothetical policies can be resolved by simply allowing the “data to speak for itself.”
    Journal of Economic Literature 09/2014; 52(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Most macroeconomic models for monetary policy analysis are approximated around a zero inflation steady state, but most central banks target an inflation rate of about 2 percent. Many economists have recently proposed even higher inflation targets to reduce the incidence of the zero lower bound constraint on monetary policy. In this survey, we show that the conduct of monetary policy should be analyzed by appropriately accounting for the positive trend inflation targeted by policymakers. We first review empirical research on the evolution and dynamics of U.S. trend inflation and some proposed new measures to assess the volatility and persistence of trend-based inflation gaps. We then construct a Generalized New Keynesian model that accounts for a positive trend inflation. In this model, an increase in trend inflation is associated with a more volatile and unstable economy and tends to destabilize inflation expectations. This analysis offers a note of caution regarding recent proposals to address the existing zero lower bound problem by raising the long-run inflation target.
    Journal of Economic Literature 09/2014; 52(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Explores the roles played by initial production and markets—in particular, organizations and geography—in the development of early twentieth-century jazz. Discusses the puzzle of geographical disconnectedness; further exploring the salience of geography; sociological congruence and the puzzle of early German jazz; sociological congruence and record company comparative advantage; the sociological congruence of record company deception; the sociological congruence of identity sequences and adoption narratives; and pulling it together and stretching it beyond. Phillips is James P. Gorman Professor of Business Strategy at Columbia University and a faculty affiliate of Columbia's Center for Jazz Studies and the Center for Organizational Innovation.
    Journal of Economic Literature 09/2014; 52(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Explores the ways in which merchants of the Spanish Atlantic world sought to deal with the endemic risks and uncertainties of long-distance commerce from 1760–1820. Discusses staying informed—the risks of poor information in Atlantic world trade; the institutions of trade and the reduction of market risk—the convoy system; comercio libre and the rise of commercial risk; the rising demand for credit and the escalation of risk in the post-1778 era; trade in war and peace; underwriting risk—the structure and organization of insurance partnerships in late eighteenth-century Cadiz; insuring against risk—analysis of insurance policies and the perception of risk in Atlantic world trade; and war and commercial crisis—the profitability of the Cadiz insurance industry in the 1790s. Baskes is Professor of History and Director of Latin American Studies at Ohio Wesleyan University.
    Journal of Economic Literature 09/2014; 52(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Eight papers, originally presented as part of a series sponsored by Wake Forest University in 2011–12, present insights on today's economy based on the works of significant twentieth-century economists. Papers discuss insights for today's trying economic times (Robert M. Whaples and G. Page West III); insights from Walter Bagehot (Perry Mehrling); insights from Thorstein Veblen (Robert Prasch); insights from John Maynard Keynes (Bradley Bateman); insights from the Great Depression (Peter Temin); insights from Joseph Schumpeter (Richard N. Langlois); insights from Friedrich Hayek (Bruce Caldwell); and drawing lines in U.S. monetary and fiscal history (Thomas J. Sargent). West is Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Wake Forest University. Whaples is Professor of Economics at Wake Forest University.
    Journal of Economic Literature 09/2014; 52(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Examines size, risk, and governance in European banking. Discusses bank systemic size and systemic crises; increasing in size and bank default risk—evidence from European bank mergers; the trends and composition of banking risk across Europe; the determinants of European bank exposure to systemic shocks; board monitoring, regulation, and performance in the European banking industry; executive pay and risk-taking in the European banking industry; systemic risk potential and opacity in European banks; and implications for the reregulation of European banking. Hagendorff is Martin Currie Professor in Finance and Investment at the University of Edinburgh. Keasey is Professor of Financial Services, Director of the International Institute of Banking and Financial Services, and Head of the Accounting and Finance Department at the University of Leeds. Vallascas is Associate Professor of Banking and Finance at the University of Leeds.
    Journal of Economic Literature 09/2014; 52(3).
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    ABSTRACT: Eighteen papers explore the relationship between food security and sociopolitical stability up to approximately 2025. Papers discuss food or consequences—food security and its implications for global sociopolitical stability; the future of the global food economy—scenarios for supply, demand, and prices; what we know about the climate of the next decade; the global land rush; global freshwater and food security in the face of potential adversity; managing marine resources for food and human security; crop technologies for the coming decade; livestock futures to 2020—how they will shape food, environmental, health, and global security; labor migration and food security in a changing climate; trade policies and global food security; food security and political stability—a humanitarian perspective; moral economics of food security and protest in Latin America; food security and sociopolitical stability in Sub-Saharan Africa; lessons from the Arab Spring—food security and stability in the Middle East and North Africa; food security and sociopolitical stability in Eastern Europe and Central Asia; food security and sociopolitical stability in South Asia; when China runs out of farmers; and food security and sociopolitical stability in East and Southeast Asia. Barrett is Stephen B. and Janice G. Ashley Professor of Applied Economics and Management, and International Professor of Agriculture in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and Professor in the Department of Economics at Cornell University.
    Journal of Economic Literature 09/2014; 52(3).