AEA Papers and Proceedings Guidelines

Instructions for Preparation of Manuscripts

Papers and supporting materials should be emailed to no later than the first Friday following the end of the ASSA Annual Meeting.



Final Manuscript (PDF and Native Files)

Formatting templates and instructions are available for users of LaTeX, Scientific Word, and Word.

When using the LaTeX or Scientific Word templates, please select the "finalmode" class option.

Page Limits for Papers

Important Note: Page limits are firm. Because of space constraints, exceptions will not be made. Papers that do not adhere to the guidelines will be returned to the author. If, after being returned, the paper is not edited to conform to the guidelines, the paper will not be published.

Five-paper session 

AEA LaTex/Scientific Word templates 4 pages
AEA Word template 6 pages
Other* 8 double-spaced pages

Page limit includes all text, figures, tables, footnotes, acknowledgements, and references.

Four-paper session

AEA LaTex/Scientific Word templates 5 pages
AEA Word template 7 pages
Other* 10 double-spaced pages

Page limit includes all text, figures, tables, footnotes, acknowledgements, and references.

Three-paper session

AEA LaTex/Scientific Word templates 6 pages
AEA Word template 9 pages
Other* 12 double-spaced pages

Page limit includes all text, figures, tables, footnotes, acknowledgements, and references.

*If you are not using our templates, format with:
-- 12-point Times New Roman font.
-- 1-inch side, top, and bottom margin.


Please send an abstract of no more than 100 words as a Word document, separate from your paper. Abstracts will be made available on the AEA website but will not appear in the print journal.

Data Information Form 

Please complete the Data Information Form to indicate whether data was used in your paper. Include a PDF of the completed form in your final submission package.

Data and Code

Authors of accepted 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. After submitting data files, authors must email a signed Data and Code Availability Form to

A completed Data and Code Archive Agreement must be received from each author prior to publication.  See the Data and Code Availability Policy for more information.

Datasets must be received no later than May 1st.

Online Appendices

Given the length constraint of papers, you are free to post an online appendix containing additional materials (e.g., additional proofs for a theoretical paper, additional results for an empirical paper, details of experimental design for an experimental paper).  Online Appendices must be sent as a separate PDF and 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."

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 

Each author must submit a separate, signed Publication Agreement. Each author must specify whether implicit or explicit consent is preferred in regard to our permission to reprint policy. 

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


All required files must be emailed to no later than the first Friday following the end of the ASSA Annual Meeting.  Please label your files before emailing them to clearly indicate if the file is a "manuscript," "online appendix," "figure," etc. Each filename should contain the last name of the corresponding author (which should also be included in the subject line of the email).

Datasets must be uploaded to the AEA Data and Code Repository no later than May 1st. When you upload your data and code, include the repository project ID ("openicpsr-xxxxxx") in your data and code README file.


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 kept to a minimum and embedded. The initial footnote giving the contact information for each author should be marked with an asterisk (*).  The asterisk is followed by each author's department, affiliation, email address, and acknowledgements.  The remaining footnotes should be 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

Note: Equations should be kept to a minimum as space is limited.

-- 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.


Note: Due to space constraints, tables should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

-- 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.
-- Tables should be able to survive reduction to single-column width (2 5/8 inches or 6.8 cm).
-- 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.


Note: Due to space constraints, figures should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.

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. Figures should be able to survive reduction to single-column width (2 5/8 inches or 6.8 cm).

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.


In an effort to prevent plagiarism, the American Economic Association subscribes to CrossCheck to screen its submissions. CrossCheck has a "database of current and archival scholarly literature" and uses the iThenticate tool to "compare authored work against the content in the database and highlight matching or similar text for further editorial review." Submission to AEA journals implies permission of the Association to check the submission electronically for plagiarism, using the CrossCheck system.

If you have any questions, please contact the AEA Papers and Proceedings for clarification: (412) 432-2300 or