Economic Inquiry has a long history of publishing papers that have a strong sense of purpose, make substantial contributions to the literature that are of interest to specialists and non-specialists alike; they should be well crafted, motivated by a clear objective for research and accessible to general readers.
I became editor of Economic Inquiry effective July 1, 2012. I inherited a set of policies and procedures that were introduced by my predecessor, Preston McAfee. Over his tenure, 2007-2012, the journal experienced considerable growth, a substantial increase in rankings, and a reduction in processing times. Because of this success, I retain his innovations. He introduced the “no revisions” option and, for traditional submissions, instructed the editors to attempt to accomplish the task of evaluating papers to one round of revisions. Each of these reduces the time over which manuscripts are in the review process. He also introduced the miscellany section which contains articles of humor and curiosities and has a strong following among the readers of the journal, and it will be continued as well.
Economic Inquiry received nearly 500 papers in 2010 and 500 papers in 2011 to be considered for publication. To process this number of papers, there is an excellent team of co-editors and specialized editors. Co-editors have authority over the manuscripts they handle. They choose the referees and make decisions. While I do approve their decisions, only in extreme cases might I intervene e.g., revisions requested under the no revisions policy. Specialized editors are appointed to develop specific areas of inquiry. For example, Economic Inquiry has been a strong outlet for the Economics of Sports, Health, Defense, Publishing etc., but there has also been considerable activity in behavioral, experimental, and potential growth areas in algorithmic game theory. There are specialized editors for each of these areas. In addition, given recent tides in trade and globalization coupled with the WEAI Biennial Pacific Rim Conference, I have added a specialized area in multinationals and trade policy. I plan to continue to identify growing areas of research and introduce additional specialty editors as time proceeds.
I continue a quest for authors to receive timely and high quality reviews as well as to provide a high quality outlet for their work. Editors are asked to provide professional, dispassionate and scientific evaluations and responses to authors’ works. They along with referees are asked to clearly evaluate papers and offer rationale for acceptance, revision or rejection. They are not, however, asked to rewrite or offer significant areas of expansion. This is a reflection of issues raised by my predecessor in his article Edifying Editing (The American Economist, Spring, 2010), which should be required reading for all that are involved in refereeing and evaluating papers for publication.
My goal is that the continuance of long standing editorial aims of the journal together with the innovations recently introduced by my predecessor and timely identification of important, novel and timely areas of inquiry will continue and improve the strong position of the journal in economics.
Wesley W. Wilson
University of Oregon