THE JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC EDUCATION
2004 ANNUAL REPORT
Historical and Current Activities
Features and Information
Figure 1: Monthly Accesses to JEE Web Site
Table 1: Distribution of Articles by Section
Table 2: Authors and Affiliations
Table 3: Disposition of Articles
Table 4: Referees and Affiliations
Table 5: Processing Time
Current Statistics Table
Circulation History Table
Geographical Breakdown Table
Peter Kennedy, professor of economics at Simon Fraser University, has been the associate editor of the research section since 1989. We are indebted to Simon Fraser University for the support it has provided Peter in his activities on behalf of the JEE. Because Peter spends a significant amount of time each year in New Zealand and traveling the world, all of his worldwide partners are appreciated.
As shown in Table 3, in 2004, 20 papers were submitted, which is in line with the average yearly submission count for the past three years. Of the papers submitted in 2004, 1 has been recommended for publication. Peter recommended 6 additional articles for publication that had been submitted in previous years. The three-year acceptance rate for the research section is 32.56 percent.
The proportion of pages going to the research section was 30.7 percent in 2004 (Table 1), which is well above the 6.9 percent in 2003, and above the 21.3 percent and 26.2 percent of pages going to the research section in 2001 and 2002.
Michael Watts, professor of economics at Purdue University, has been an associate editor of the instruction section since 1988. We express our gratitude to Mike and thanks to the Krannert School of Management for the support Purdue University has provided the JEE.
In addition to being the director of the Center on Economic Education at Purdue University, an affiliate of the National Council on Economic Education, this year Mike once again spent time in the former Soviet Union as well as teaching in Germany; we express our thanks for the support provided to him and the JEE by his hosts.
In 2004, Mike recommended a total of 15 articles for publication (Table 3). Of the 49 articles submitted this year, which is above past years, 5 have been accepted for publication and 18 have been rejected, leaving 26 still under consideration. The three-year acceptance rate for the instruction section is 30.11 percent. This acceptance rate includes topical issues for which authors are invited to submit articles but which also must go through the referee process. This coming year one such set of articles that address assessment and testing are based on previous presentations at the Midwest Economic Association meetings. In 2004, 29.3 percent of the JEE pages went to the instruction section (Table 1), while it was 38.8 percent in 2003, 22.5 percent in 2002, and 24.2 percent in 2001.
Hirschel Kasper, professor of economics at Oberlin College, is associate editor of the content section. Professor Kasper is well-traveled in the academic world, having held visiting appointments at the universities of Wisconsin, Michigan, Cornell, Glasgow (Scotland), and Princeton. He has been an associate editor of the JEE since 1986. We express our thanks to Hirschel and to Oberlin College for the support he has been provided over the years that he has been an associate editor.
This year, 46 manuscripts were submitted to the content section, which is consistent with the past three-year average (Table 3). None of the articles submitted this year have been accepted, 20 have been rejected, and 26 are still in review. Over the past three years, the acceptance rate in the content section has been 11.96 percent. As with the other sections, the number of pages published in the content section varies from year to year: 18.3 percent in 2004, 26.3 percent in 2003, 29.9 percent in 2002, and 10.2 percent in 2001.
William Walstad, professor of economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has been the associate editor of the features and information section since 1994. Bill Walstad is also chair of the American Economic Association’s Committee on Economic Education, and director of the University of Nebraska National Center for Research in Economic Education, an affiliate of the National Council on Economic Education. Both Bill and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln must be thanked for their commitment to advancing economic education.
This year there were 30 unsolicited manuscripts submitted for review in the features and information section, of which 8 are scheduled for publication, 11 are still in review, and 11 have been rejected. The long-term acceptance rate of this section is 31.67 percent. The features and information section made up 13.6 percent of the page count in 2004. Its page count was 19.7 percent in 2003, 13.1 percent in 2002 and 35.5 percent in 2001.
As chair of the AEA Committee on Economic Education, this year Bill Walstad arranged for AEA-CEE member Daniel Hamermesh (University of Texas, Austin) to organize a session at the January 2004 AEA annual meeting on economic education and journalism, with papers by Dan, R. Glenn Hubbard (Columbia University), Klaus Zimmermann (German Institute for Economic Research, and Research Institute for the Future of Labor), and Hal Varian (University of California at Berkeley), and comments provided by Michael Mandel (Business Week) and Paul Solman (PBS NewsHour and WGBH—Boston). These papers and comments appeared in the fall 2004 issue. For the January 2005 AEA meeting, Bill Walstad again has a special session devoted to the teaching of economics at the high school level that will likely result in JEE articles at a future date.
Kim Sosin, professor and chair of the Department of Economics, University of Nebraska at Omaha, has been associate editor of the online section since its founding in 2000. Kim is also director of the UN-Omaha Center for Economic Education, an affiliate of the National Council on Economic Education. The fact that the JEE has two editors (Bill Walstad and Kim Sosin) from Nebraska speaks to the commitment of Nebraska to economic education, and the JEE is indebted to the Nebraska team of economic educators.
Materials reviewed in the online section are accepted for their exemplary uses of technology in economic instruction. These materials are available for Web viewing as finished documents on the submitter’s Web site. Short descriptions and Web URLs of accepted Web materials appear in the regular issues of the JEE. Because each online note requires only one page, less than 1.3 percent of the JEE pages in 2004 were allocated to the published online notes, which is roughly the same as the allocation in 2003, 2002, and 2001.
In 2004, Kim recommended the acceptance of 6 pieces, including 4 that were submitted this year. Of the 13 pieces submitted this year, 5 were rejected, and 4 are still under consideration. The long-term acceptance rate in the online section is 32.43 percent.
The editorial practices of the JEE are intended to do more than screen articles for publication; they are intended to assist potential authors as well. The associate editors and referees devote a significant amount of time to assisting authors with comments and suggestions for the revision of papers that they believe have promise for JEE readers. Less-dedicated editors and reviewers would have rejected out-of-hand some papers that have been transmuted by their advice.
The names and institutional affiliations of the 304 referees used between October 11, 2003, and October 10, 2004, are listed in Table 4. The economic education community must express its deep appreciation for their assistance to the JEE. The JEE continues to express its gratitude with a complimentary copy of the Winter issue in which all referee names and affiliations appear.
The review and revision process leading to acceptance can take a year or more. The information in Table 5 suggests that even after authors have gone through this process, they must often wait another year to see their manuscripts in print because of the length of the queue of accepted articles. Although this time to publication is not unusual relative to other top-quality journals, it is a source of both pride and concern. To address this problem, we have increased the size of the JEE from 96 pages to 108 at least for every other issue.
The data management system and other office administrative routines are critical in manuscript tracking and the smooth operation of the JEE. From the time the JEE moved to Indiana University in 1989, these functions have been underwritten by Indiana University College of Arts and Science, for which the JEE is most thankful. This year Julia Martinez came on board as the executive secretary of the JEE editorial office. Julia has proven herself to be a most able office administrator and a welcome addition to the JEE team. Julie Marker continues to serve as the JEE Web manager, with consultation and programming assistance from Chris Calabrese, to whom we express our gratitude.
The authors of each of the 42 articles, notes, and reviews published in 2004 have benefited from assistant editor Suzanne Becker’s eye for detail and editorial forte. Sue has a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota, and she has been editing manuscripts in economics and education for over 30 years and for the JEE since 1989. At Heldref Publications, Rosalind Springsteen is the JEE managing editor. She holds a master’s degree from the University of Michigan in economics and was previously employed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Rosalind Springsteen, together with the Heldref staff, ensures that the final JEE product is of the highest quality and in readers’ hands in the season designated on the issue’s cover.
The last four unnumbered pages at the back of this report contain data on pricing, subscriptions, and the circulation of the JEE provided by Heldref Publications. Heldref has been responsible for these items since 1981. The regular individual subscription rate for the four quarterly issues of the JEE is $60 per year and the rate for institutions is $124, which are low compared to many other academic journals. As of the end of October, paid subscriptions were 905 with 947 copies of the fall 2004 issue circulated. (The peak circulation in 1995 reflected a promotional effort aimed at participants in the AEA/NCEE teacher training program.) Over the past several years, other periodicals devoted to economic education and the economics of education have entered the market. In addition, expanding free use of the JEE World Wide Web services as well as those coming on line through other Web servers may be cutting into subscriptions.
In recognition of falling circulation, at the January 2004 editorial meeting it was decided to delay the placement of articles on the JEE Web site by one year. In meetings with Heldref personnel, JEE board member and NCEE president Robert Duvall has emphasized the importance of increasing JEE circulation. Similarly, JEE editor Bill Becker has met with Heldref staff to learn of and advance Heldref’s plans to increase JEE subscriptions and circulation. Heldref staff point out that the subscription rates of most journals and of Heldref journals have fallen. In particular, according to Heldref staff, the rate of decline for the JEE is lower than that of 90 percent of Heldref’s 42 academic journals. This is of little consolation to those who expect JEE circulation to be growing and not declining with industry trends.
Heldref marketing director Emilia Pawlowski plans a mailing in early 2005 to 10,000 teachers of economics, soliciting subscriptions in a letter authored by long-time JEE editorial board member, William Baumol. Emilia and Heldref marketing coordinator Laura Roose are also working on other possible actions aimed at increasing subscriptions. Within the next year, we expect that their efforts will show an increase in subscriptions and circulation.
Heldref’s subscription data do not yet reflect the 2004 changes in Council and Center Directors’ subscriptions. These subscriptions are obtained as part of the registration process at the annual meeting of the National Council on Economic Education, which was held in Little Rock, Arkansas, on September 29-October 2, 2004. This year 64 individual subscriptions were obtained from the NCEE network directors who subscribed at the special rate of $35.00 per year. Beside the special rate for NCEE associates, Heldref also provided a special subscription rate for those attending the Department Chairs’ Breakfast at the American Economic Association annual meeting in San Diego (January 4, 2004), where JEE associate editor and chair of the AEA Committee on Economic Education, Bill Walstad, featured the JEE in his report. Bill will again feature the JEE in his report at the January 2005 AEA meeting in Philadelphia.
In closing it is worth calling attention to the importance of the JEE to academic economists as reaffirmed by the NCEE’s strategic review of all its programs a few years ago. That zero-based budgeting assessment effort enabled the NCEE board “to recognize even more fully the significant part that the JEE plays in fostering and fortifying the academic backbone of our organization” (September 28, 2000). According to Robert Duvall, NCEE president and chief executive officer, the NCEE is committed to ongoing support of the JEE, with a rolling three-year cycle of funding from 2001 forward. We are indebted to JEE editorial board member Bob Duvall and the NCEE for this vote of confidence and long-term commitment to the mission of the JEE. With such support, the JEE will prosper well into the future.
William E. Becker
December 6, 2004