1989 Annual Report, Journal of Economic Education

Table of Contents


William Becker succeeded Kalman Goldberg as the Editor of The Journal of Economic Education in August 1989. This change in editorship will not lead to any dramatic changes in the format, content or procedures of the JEE. Goldberg's editorial initiatives will be maintained with only minor changes in the board of editors planned for 1990. The first issue assembled by Becker will appear in the summer of 1990.

Kalman Goldberg provided exemplary service and leadership to The Journal of Economic Education in the 1980s: first as an associate editor and then as editor. Among his many accomplishments he will be remembered for developing the content section of the JEE, instituting the special issues program, computerizing the record keeping processes, improving the general appearance of the journal by going to a hard binding, and raising the visibility of the JEE within economics. For his contribution to the JEE, he will be honored on December 28, 1989, at a luncheon at the Allied Social Science meeting in Atlanta.

As in the past, this report provides several tables that show the high level of activity over the past year. Table 1 summarizes the content of Kal Goldberg's last complete volume; it reflects the balance Goldberg attempted to achieve in the research, content, instruction, and professional sections of the JEE. Table 2 presents the mix of authors and their institutional affiliations and Table 3 shows the number of manuscripts processed and the rates at which manuscripts have been accepted. These three tables are discussed in the next three sections of this report. Table 4 provides a list of referees used in 1989 and Table 5 gives the time required to process published papers. Tables 4 and 5, along with the Heldref information on subscriptions, are discussed in the last section of this report.


As reflected in a comparison of past annual reports, Goldberg has taken pride in building the quality of the articles in the research section while maintaining its share of the page count. The proportion of pages going to the research section was only 8.8% in 1987, 20.3% in 1988, and as shown in Table 1, 20.0% in 1989. This proportion will be greater in 1990 because the special summer issue is devoted exclusively to research at the high school level. This issue will contain papers from the January, 1989, AEA/JCEE/JEE call for papers. Of the thirty papers submitted for consideration under this call for papers (Table 3), six were selected for presentation at two special sessions at the Allied Social Science meeting in Atlanta, on December 28, 1989, and publication in the JEE. Another two have been accepted for publication in the special issue, while two more are still under consideration. These papers were reviewed and selected by the referee panel of William Becker, William Greene (New York University), and Sherwin Rosen (University of Chicago and the Hoover Institution, Stanford University).

Replacing Bill Becker as Associate Editor of Research is Peter Kennedy, Professor of Economics at Simon Fraser University. Kennedy's publications in economics and econometrics are extensive. He is the author of A Guide to Econometrics (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2nd ed, 1985), which is on the shelf of economists around the world, and he has been a regular contributor to the JEE. The quality of articles in the research section can be expected to continue to grow under Kennedy. Kennedy has yet to recommend his first article for publication in the JEE; however, of the 13 papers submitted this year he has 8 under consideration, as shown in Table 3. The pursuit of a well orchestrated research agenda by the American Economics Association Committee on Economic Education should help maintain the flow of papers to this section.

Content and Instruction

Hirschel Kasper is Associate Editor of the Content Section and Michael Watts is Associate Editor of the Instruction Section. These sections have taken on an increasingly important role during the 1980s, with many of the world's best known economists submitting articles for consideration in these sections. Both Kasper and Watts must be commended for the success they have had with their sections. Their respective Departments of Economics at Oberlin College and Purdue University must also be thanked for the resources they are providing to advance economic education.

In both the content and instruction sections the number of manuscripts processed continues to be around thirty to forty papers per year, with acceptance rates in the twenty to thirty percent range (Table 3). Between 1988 and 1989 there was a slight decrease in the number of pages published in the content section (23.9% to 19.6%) while the number of pages in the instructional section increased (17.2% to 25.4%).

As reflected in Table 1, it is expected that around 45% of the JEE's page count will continue to be devoted to these sections. The JEE's ability to attract top articles in the content and instruction areas will be tested in the years ahead, however, by the existence of The Journal of Economics Perspectives and the introduction of an economic education section in Economic Inquiry. Perhaps a special issue devoted to a content or an instructional topic is needed. This possibility will be considered at a meeting of the editors being planned for the early part of 1990.


Robin Bartlett is the Associate Editor of the Professional section. Table 3 does not show cumulative acceptance rates for her section, because many of the articles published here are special features, written by invitation. This year, however, there have been quite a few unsolicited manuscripts handled by Bartlett. The JEE is indebted to Bartlett and her Department of Economics at Denison University for the time and resources they have devoted to processing these manuscripts.

A cursory review of the Professional section suggests that the JEE has become an outlet for manuscripts that report on alternative rankings of departments of economics, textbook reviews, and program announcements. The JEE may be losing out, however, on the computer software reviews which are going to journals such as the Social Science Microcomputer Review.

Editorial Matters

In reviewing Table 3, it is important to recognize that the acceptance rate would be markedly lower were it not for the helpful and painstaking efforts of the Associate Editors and referees. Their reviews, comments, and suggestions for revision when they read a paper that has promise for JEE readers have been painstaking. Less dedicated reviewers would have rejected out-of-hand some papers that have been transmuted by their efforts.

Table 4 lists the names and institutional affiliations of the 1989 referees. The economic education community must express its deep appreciation for their extraordinary help to the JEE. The JEE continues to express it gratitude, more symbolic than substantive, with a complimentary copy of the JEE and in cases of special contributions, with a gratis subscription for one year.

Table 5 offers a mixture of gratification and frustration. The average review period is, by comparison with many journals, relatively brief. The long queue of accepted articles, however, results in authors waiting a year or more to see their manuscripts in print. The size of each issue has been expanded. Nevertheless, it is a source of both embarrassment and pride to notify authors of the delay. This contrasts with earlier times when the concern was with accumulating a sufficient number of papers of acceptable quality to fill a smaller issue.

Along with the departure of Kal Goldberg, Kondelo Willerton of Bradley University is no longer assisting in the processing, expediting, and tracking of manuscripts. Assisting William Becker in these functions is Elaine Yarde at Indiana University. During the summer or 1989, Kondelo was most gracious in training Elaine to use the computer software that had been developed at Bradley for JEE data management.

At Heldref Publications, Anne Mattison replaced Martha Franklin as the Managing Editor for the JEE. Franklin still works for Heldref, but Anne Mattison is now the JEE Managing Editor. In September, 1989, Becker and Goldberg met with the Heldref people to insure a smooth transition. While Heldref will continue trying, it is expected that it will still be difficult for Heldref to adhere to a fixed publication date schedule.

Table 6 contains circulation data. Active subscribers now total 1,428, a slight decrease from the previous year's all time high. These numbers do not include copies that are given out for promotional or complementary purposes. (Council and Center Directors were again given the opportunity to "check-off" a subscription, at a special rate, as part of the registration procedure for the annual meeting of the Joint Council. Forty-nine directors in the JCEE network paid $18.00 each for subscriptions next year.)

In the past promotional flyers were prepared and sent from the editorial office to all instructors of undergraduate economics in the United States and Canada. This coming year Barbara Marney of Heldref will be handling the details for promotion with a major mailing planned for the first quarter of 1990. In addition, she will attempt to increase revenues from ads placed in the JEE. As can be seen in Table 1, typically less than 10% of the pages in the JEE are devoted to ads.

Heldref is satisfied with the financial position of the JEE, although a small deficit is forecast for this year. The support of the Joint Council on Economic Education continues to be outstanding. It is reassuring to all engaged in the publication of the JEE that Steve Buckles and Robert Highsmith are unreservedly strong advocates. John Siegfried, Chairman of the Economic Education Committee of the American Economic Association, is playing a key role in bringing the prestige of the AEA to economic education and the JEE. Finally, Phillip Saunders, Chairman of the Department of Economics at Indiana University was instrumental in arranging for the resources necessary to house the editorial office at Indiana University. The continued involvement of all these individuals and organizations will insure the future growth of The Journal of Economic Education.


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