Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Ranking Academic Economic Journals by Speed

Before, I shared some thoughts for improving academic journals. One of my complaints is about how long it takes. So, I decided to make a new ranking based on how long journals take to respond using ejmr data (among the top 50 journals ranked by citations, discounted recursive, last 10 years, although taken from last month). In the table below, # is the a journals rank by citations, and then there is data on acceptance rate, desk rejection rate, average time to first response (how the data is sorted), and then the 25th and 75th percentiles. The sample size is the last column. 

Not surprisingly, the QJE, who desk rejects 62% of papers, is the fastest, with an average time of little more than two weeks. JEEA, with a 56% desk rejection rate, is up next, followed by JHR, with a 58% rejection rate. Finance journals, who often pay for quick referee reports, tend to be fast, while Macro and econometric journals tend to be the slowest. The JME, which is notorious, clocks in at an average of 7.7 months, with a median of 4 months, but a 75th percentile of 9 months. On the other hand, the acceptance rate for those who report their submission results at ejmr is 21%, and they do not desk reject. It might be worth doing a separate ranking for those papers that actually go out to referees. In any case, among top 5 journals, the JPE is the worst, clocking in at 4.8 months on average.

Of course, when submitting, it's still journal quality/citations that matter most. But review times in excess of 6 to 9 months can be career killers. Probably, it's the right tails which are the most important here, which is why I sorted by average rather than median. 

#Journal NameAccept %Desk Reject %Avg. TimeMedian Time25th Percent. (Months)75th Percent. (Months)N =
1Quarterly Journal of Economics1%62%0.600171
12Journal of the European Economic Association4%56%1.20.50225
14Journal of Human Resources18%58%1.310238
6American Economic Journal: Applied Economics3%33%1.6202.536
31European Economic Review29%50%1.610334
15Review of Financial Studies15%20%1.821220
13American Economic Journal: Economic Policy7%40%1.820330
42IZA Journal of Labor Economics100%0%2.02221
39Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis33%7%2.121315
44Journal of Law and Economics0%42%2.120.5312
17Journal of Economic Growth0%0%2.12237
27Journal of Financial Intermediation14%29%2.13137
7Journal of Finance0%32%2.220419
16Economic Journal20%46%2.22.50441
19Journal of Financial Economics29%21%2.221314
34Journal of Health Economics14%57%2.320.5428
38Journal of Population Economics29%43%2.33047
5American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics11%26%2.320419
32Theoretical Economics8%0%2.3222.512
49Econometrics Journal0%60%2.40055
9American Economic Review7%45%2.420471
45Review of Finance0%9%2.532311
26Journal of Urban Economics19%19%2.531416
35Labour Economics12%35%2.521317
24Journal of Applied Econometrics0%42%2.620519
30American Economic Journal: Microeconomics23%15%2.932413
3Review of Economic Studies3%37%3.130563
21Journal of Public Economics8%25%3.231451
36World Bank Economic Review0%50%3.431.568
11Journal of Labor Economics0%20%3.542615
43Journal of Risk and Uncertainty0%75%3.83.534.54
10Review of Economics and Statistics2%50%3.820650
23Journal of Development Economics14%33%3.831536
25Journal of Business and Economic Statistics22%11%3.93259
41Journal of Environmental Economics and Management24%10%4.03.52521
22RAND Journal of Economics7%15%4.144527
47Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control50%17%4.231418
33Journal of Economic Theory17%13%4.2435.523
46Journal of International Money and Finance41%6%4.432617
50Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics23%38%4.642613
2Journal of Political Economy0%60%4.831.5725
18Journal of International Economics19%6%
20Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking20%15%5.142820
40Journal of Economic Surveys0%40%5.25075
28Experimental Economics29%14%5.96397
29Journal of Econometrics11%11%7.075109
48Econometric Theory0%0%7.054123
8Journal of Monetary Economics21%0%7.743914


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  2. A 0% acceptance rate above means no papers got accepted. Note that the sample sizes can be quite small for some of these journals (last column = N).

  3. How were the samples constructed? Thanks!

    1. All the data come from here: