For authors

Call for Papers

Most papers that appear in the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (BPEA) are solicited by the editors, but the editors also consider submitted proposals.

The journal publishes research in macroeconomics, broadly defined, with an emphasis on analysis that is empirical and relevant to economic policy. We are interested in papers on a wide range of topics, including fiscal and monetary policy, asset pricing, labor markets, consumption and saving behavior, business investment, housing, wage- and price-setting, business cycles, long-run economic growth, the distribution of income and wealth, international capital flows and exchange rates, international trade and development, and the macroeconomic implications of health costs, energy supply and demand, environmental issues, and the education system. Most important, we are looking for innovative work that enhances the understanding of economic relationships and appeals to the broad policy community, including analysts from universities, governments, and businesses.

Although most papers that appear in the Brookings Papers are solicited by the editors, the editors welcome submitted proposals. Editorial decisions are generally made about nine months in advance of each conference. Therefore, proposals should be received by December 1 for the following fall conference and by June 1 for the following spring conference. Proposals should be no more than five double-spaced pages and should be sent to bpea@brookings.edu.

Data Availability Policy

The Brookings Papers on Economic Activity has adopted the policy on data availability being used by the American Economic Review and Journal of Political Economy. Specifically:

General Policy

It is the policy of BPEA to publish papers only if the data used in the analysis are clearly and precisely documented and are readily available to any researcher for purposes of replication. Authors of papers that contain empirical work, simulations, or experimental results must provide to BPEA, in electronic form prior to publication, the data, programs, and other details of the computations sufficient to permit replication. These materials will be posted on the BPEA web site. The editors should be notified in advance if the data used in a paper are proprietary or if this information cannot be provided for some other reason. Manuscripts not conforming to this data policy will not be published.

Specific Policy for Econometric and Simulation Papers

The materials delivered should include the data sets and programs used to run the final models, plus a description of how previous intermediate data sets and programs were employed to create the final data sets. Authors are invited to submit these intermediate data files and programs as an option; if they are not provided, authors must fully cooperate with investigators seeking to conduct a replication who request them. The data files and programs can be provided in any format using any statistical package or software. However, the programs must run without crashing on any computer with the correct software. Authors must provide a Readme PDF file listing all included files and documenting the purpose and format of each file provided, as well as instructing a user on how replication can be conducted. If a request for an exemption based on proprietary data is made, authors should inform the editors if the data can be accessed or obtained in some other way by independent researchers for purposes of replication. Authors are also asked to provide information on how the proprietary data can be obtained by others in their Readme PDF file. A copy of the programs used to create the final results is still required.

Specific Policy for Experimental Papers

The material delivered should include the following:

  • Original instructions should be summarized as part of the discussion of experimental design in the text and provided in full as an appendix. The instructions should be presented in a way that, together with the design summary, conveys the protocol clearly enough that the design could be replicated by a reasonably skilled experimentalist. For example, if different instructions were used for different sessions, the correspondence should be indicated.
  • Information about subject eligibility or selection, such as exclusions based on past participation in experiments, college major, etc. should be summarized as part of the discussion of experimental design.
  • Any computer programs, configuration files, or scripts used to run the experiment and/or to analyze the data should be summarized as appropriate in the text and provided in full as an appendix. Data summaries, intermediate results, and advice about how to use the programs are welcome but not required.
  • Raw data from the experiment should be summarized as appropriate in the text and provided in full as an appendix, with sufficient explanation to make it possible to use the submitted computer programs to replicate the data analysis.
  • Other information, such as applications to institutional review boards, consent forms, or Web signup and disclosure forms, is not required or expected. If it desired to make this kind of information public, it should be posted on laboratory or authors’ web sites.