AER: Insights Guidelines for Accepted Articles

Instructions for Preparation of Accepted Manuscripts




Final Manuscript PDF

Your final manuscript should adhere to our Formatting and Style Guide.  The PDF should include your reference list, tables, and figures. Tables and figures may be placed within the manuscript in their intended location or at the end of the PDF. Online appendices must be supplied as a separate document. Please ensure that the file is not encrypted.

Final Word Count PDF

Manuscripts without exhibits may not exceed 7,000 words.  Each exhibit reduces the maximum allowance by 200 words (e.g., a manuscript with 5 exhibits has a maximum of 6,000 words). The maximum number of exhibits (figures or tables) is five.

The PDF used for the word count should include only the main body of the text, footnotes, and endnotes.  This modified "word count PDF" should exclude the title, author names, abstract, acknowledgement footnote, reference list, and exhibits. Other than these exclusions, the word count PDF should be identical to the submitted manuscript.  The word count and the word count PDF will be required upon submission.

Obtain a word count by uploading the word count PDF to  Manuscripts that exceed the limit will not be reviewed and will instead be summarily returned to the authors for them to comply with the length limits.

Final Manuscript Native Files

You must provide the native file(s) of your final manuscript. We encourage the use of AEA templates for submission in LaTeX, Scientific Word, and Word.  

Data and Code

During the compliance check, authors of papers that contain empirical work, simulations, or experimental work must provide information about the data, programs, and other details of the computations sufficient to permit replication, as well as information about access to data and programs.  Data and programs should be archived in the AEA Data and Code Repository.

As part of the archive, authors must provide a README file listing all included files and documenting the purpose, format, and provenance of each file provided, as well as instructing a user on how replication can be conducted.  

Authors must provide a signed Data and Code Availability Form. Each author must also submit a separate, signed Data and Code Archive Agreement.

See the Data and Code Availability Policy for more information.

Online Appendices

Additional materials to be posted only online should be provided as a separate PDF and clearly labeled as an online appendix.

Author Disclosure Statements

Individual Disclosure Statements in PDF format must be submitted for each author. Each statement must include the paper title and the author's name at the top. Statements must (i) correspond with the funding sources acknowledged in the introductory footnote; (ii) acknowledge IRB approval (if applicable); and (iii) report any other potential conflict of interest. If there is nothing to disclose you are still required to supply a PDF statement formally making that claim.

See the full AEA Disclosure Statement Policy for details.

Publication Agreements 

When authors fulfill all requirements of the compliance check, they will receive a Publication Agreement.  Each author must submit a separate, signed agreement and specify whether implicit or explicit reprint rights are preferred. 

Authors are permitted to post published versions of their articles on their personal websites.


Please upload all required files to your author center in ScholarOne.  If you have not already done so, please upload your data and code to the AEA Data and Code Repository and include the repository project ID ("openicpsr-xxxxxx") in your data and code availability form

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy

Authors funded by the NIH are required to submit an electronic version of their final, accepted manuscript to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central. This should be submitted no more than 12 months after the official date of publication.


Title and Byline

Title and byline should be placed at the top of the first page. (Do not use a separate sheet for the title page.)

Contact information should appear in a note at the bottom of the first page, indicated by an asterisk (*) placed after the (last) author's name. In this note:
-- Provide an email address for each author.
-- Indicate the institutions and/or grant numbers of any financial support you have received for your research.
-- Personally acknowledge individuals who have contributed criticism on earlier drafts of your paper.
-- Provide details regarding IRB approval, if applicable.
-- If your paper uses a randomized control trial, please include your AEARCT identification number. (Include your trial's citable DOI in your list of references.)


Abstracts are required for all articles and should not exceed 100 words.

Section Heads

Do not begin with "Introduction" as a section head. Section headings should be given Roman numerals (I., II., etc.); subsections should be lettered A., B., etc.


Footnotes should be embedded and numbered consecutively.

In-Text Citations

For citations in the text, use author last name(s) only, followed by year of publication in parentheses. When listing a string of references within the text, arrange first in chronological order, then alphabetically within years. If there are four or more authors, refer to the first author, followed by et al. and the year. If there is more than one publication referred to in the same year by the author(s), use the year and a, b, etc. (example: 1997a, b). Referenced year and spelling of last name in the text must match those in the reference section exactly. LaTeX and Scientific Word users, please use the aea.bst file provided in the AEA templates.

For organizations or government agencies in the text, on first reference, use the full name followed by the acronym in parentheses. Subsequent references should use the acronym only. For example, Social Science Research Council (SSRC) [first reference], SSRC [subsequently].

Mathematical Equations

-- Equations should be typed on separate lines and numbered consecutively at the left margin, using Arabic numbers in parentheses.
-- Use italics for scalar variables, use boldface to specify vectors and matrices, and use script for sets.
-- Subscripts and superscripts must be easily distinguished from regular variables and from each other. Use only two levels of sub- and superscripts.
-- When equations in the text contain fractions, use a slash "/" or solidus and clearly denote numerator and denominator with parentheses. Display fractions that are too complicated to keep in the text on a separate line.
-- Blackboard font should be used to indicate real numbers, integers, and natural numbers only.


Quotations must correspond exactly with the original in wording, spelling, and punctuation.

Page numbers must be given. Changes must be indicated: use brackets to identify insertions; use ellipsis (...) to show omissions. Also indicate where emphasis has been added. Only lengthy quotations (more than 50 words) should be separated from the text; such quotations must be indented at the left margin.


-- There should be no more than a total of 5 tables and figures.  Individual tables and figures are limited to 1 page each.
-- Columns must be in vertical (or portrait) orientation.
-- Tables must be no more than 9 columns wide including row headings.
-- Number your tables consecutively with Arabic numerals.
-- Use only horizontal lines and additional blank space to show space distinction.
-- Do not use shading.
-- Do not abbreviate in column headings.
-- To denote sections of a table, use panel A, panel B, etc. 
-- Place a zero in front of the decimal point in all decimal fractions (e.g., 0.357, not .357).
-- For footnotes pertaining to specific table entries, footnote keys should be lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.).  Do not use asterisks to denote significance of estimation results. Report the standard errors in parentheses.
-- Place source lines after the footnotes. If the citation is a complete sentence, place a period at the end of the source line.
-- Include full citations of sources in the references.


There should be no more than a total of 5 figures and tables.  Individual figures and tables are limited to 1 page each.

Figures must be submitted in PDF, EPS, AI, WMF, or PPT. Format photographs and raster images at 300 dpi. If there are variables (italics) or matrices and vectors (boldface) in figures, they should be designated as such. 

Be sure to label your native figure files clearly, taking special care to use letters for indicating individual panels (e.g., Figure1a.ppt, Figure1b.ppt, Figure1c.ppt, etc.). It is important that these files correspond to the figures in your accompanying PDF.

NOTE: The journal cannot reprint imagery owned by a third party without the formal written consent of the copyright holder. This can include, but is not limited to, reproductions of advertisements, maps, diagrams, corporate logos, and screen shots of web pages.

Reference List

References must follow the Chicago Manual of Style's "Author-Date" style. LaTeX and Scientific Word users, please use the aea.bst file.

We encourage you to use bibliographic software when preparing your reference list. When using bibliographic software, select "Chicago Author-Date."  Not all document types are covered in reference list software. We include helpful guidelines for several document types at our Sample References page.

References to datasets should be included in your reference list. 

Authors of papers using randomized control trials should include a self-reference using the following format:
Author Names. Year. "Title." AEA RCT Registry. Month Day. DOI.


Authors are encouraged to use an online appendix for technical proofs and derivations that can be separated from the main text.  Designate multiple Appendices A, B, C, as necessary. Number equations, theorems, propositions, etc., within the Appendix as (A1), (A2), etc.

Online appendices will appear only on our website and must be sent as a separate PDF file. Online Appendices will be posted without being typeset or copyedited. Create a heading by centering the following information at the top of the first page: paper title, all names of the authors, and the words "Online Appendix."