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Refereeing Instructions

Economic Inquiry is a general interest journal and, as such invites papers in all areas of economics. Papers must make a significant contribution to the literature, be of interest to a wide variety of economists, be technically correct and well written. Further, papers should have a strong sense of problem and appropriate analytical framework that is accessible to its readers.

When reviewing a manuscript for Economic Inquiry, please submit your report in two parts: (1) a cover letter with a general and candid appraisal of the manuscript and your recommendation about publication, and (2) separate, unsigned comments that may be sent to the author. We prefer online report submissions but reports may be sent by fax to 714-965-8829 or e-mail to Referees are kept anonymous from authors.

Please consider your role to be evaluator (see “Edifying Economics”). One of my goals at EI is to reduce the number of rounds of revision, giving as often as possible just a yes or no decision.  Thus, while I and the authors want to know why you make your recommendation, extensive comments about how to make the paper better is not necessary.  Indeed, papers that require very extensive revisions to be publishable should be rejected with information provided to the author about what is wrong with them.

If a manuscript is clearly acceptable, please explain why in the cover letter.  Furthermore, any minor comments that improve the paper will be passed to the authors.

If a paper is clearly unacceptable, please explain why. The author(s) can benefit from the information. In cases where the paper is good but not of sufficiently general interest for Economic Inquiry, please say so, and please recommend appropriate specialty journals if possible. If the manuscript is flawed, please say so.

If the manuscript shows promise but requires modest revision, please be specific about the what is necessary. Suggestions should cover such things as organization, omissions, opportunities for shortening, weakness in or lack of evidence for the main argument, exposition, and logical coherence. Try to use this option sparingly, and only when you can present a clear vision of necessary changes. If the author has opted for no revisions, I will alert you that revision is not possible.

We strongly prefer reports to be returned via the online system. Referees that return their reports within six weeks are entitled to a “green” membership to WEAI for a period of one year, and that membership is transferable.

Wesley W. Wilson