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Economic Papers

One of the interesting things I have done over the past six months is to take over the editorship of  Economic Papers: a journal of applied economics and policy – the current issue can be viewed online at this link.

EP is one of the two journals published by the Economic Society of Australia – the other being The Economic Record.  In my view everyone with a professional interest in economics in Australia should join the ESA.  Apart from the publications mentioned the ESA organises an annual Conference of Economists – this year in Adelaide and has regular seminars on interesting economic topics.  I’ve been a member of the ESA since being an undergraduate – there are concessional subscription rates for students.

Being an editor is an interesting change for me.  Now I am in the position of occasionally rejecting papers rather than – as more than infrequently happens – having my contributions rejected.  I’ve acquired a much-needed tolerance for the role of editor!   I have been scouting around for good papers and found that the simplest way to elicit such is to ask.  I’ve also learnt a lot about the generosity of those busy economists in Australia and around the world who are prepared to contribute refereeing services.

If readers of this blog have an interest and knowledge of applied economics think about making a contribution.  I am particularly interested in gaining more submissions on environmental issues and in gaining more submissions from those working in the public sector. Those working on important economic policy issues in public bureaucracies have an important role in providing quality economic research and in encouraging useful directions for research in the universities.

5 comments to Economic Papers

  • […] hc added an interesting post today on Economic PapersHere’s a small readingOne of the interesting things I have done over the past six months is to take over the editorship of Economic Papers: a journal of applied economics and policy – the current issue can be viewed online at the link. EP is one of the two journals published by the Economic Society of Australia – the oth … […]

  • John Mashey

    1st link seems broken.

  • hc

    That should now be fixed.

  • derrida derider

    Harry, those working on important economic policy issues in public bureaucracies are at least as busy as any academic and, unlike academics, publication in journals does not much advance their careers. Indeed, publicly commenting on policy that they have, are, or will, be working on carries a risk of hurting their careers, even if that comment is in the form of a technical article in a learned journal.

    The risk/reward calculus for publication for public servants is very different to that for academics. It’s a real pity, but that’s life.

  • hc

    Derrida,

    That view has been expressed to me many times and I think the issue should be addressed. Large departments might employ people to help turn internal reports and studies into publishable papers. The allocation of resources here can be justified in terms of gaining free access to referees and a public process of scrutiny which should improve decisions.

    Simply put some of the best economics research in Australia is occurring in groups outside universities. Particularly when research needs to be carried out by large groups. Public sector employees often work on particular issues in a group for many years and know a lot.

    Where material is controversial/expresses particular views then the only option is to involve outsiders – consultants, academics. But your caution here that expressing certain views might be career-damaging is different from your first point. It suggests that departments are deliberately suppressing opinion. That is a culture issue.

    Sometimes too opinions are not sought. for example I wouldn’t want an overly politicised bureaucracy. But often a straight statement of the facts or the options is useful.

    Public sector economists BTW are contributing to EP and perform a huge service as referees.