Econometrics Journal - Editor's Report 2010

The managing editor, Richard J Smith, made the annual report covering the period July 2009 to June 2010, to the Council of the Royal Economic Society in November. This is a shortened version of that report.

The Econometrics Journal was established in 1998 by the Royal Economic Society with the original intention of creating a high-quality refereed journal with a standard of intellectual rigour and academic standing similar to those of the pre-existing top international field journals for econometric research such as Econometric Theory, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Journal of Econometrics and Review of Economics and Statistics.

The Econometrics Journal is a general journal for econometric research and included all areas of econometrics, whether applied, computational, methodological or theoretical contributions. As a journal of the Royal Economic Society, The Econometrics Journal seeks to promote the general advancement and application of econometric methods and techniques to problems of relevance to modern economics.

The Editorial Office of the Econometrics Journal is based in the Faculty of Economics at the University of Cambridge with Richard J Smith as Managing Editor.


Impact factors

The third set of data from the ISI Citation Index on the Econometrics Journal became available for 2009. The journal impact factor is 0.733 (0.750) with the immediacy index at 0.125 (0.065); 2008 data are given in parentheses. The first of these data ranks the Econometrics Journal at 127 (104) out of 247 (209) economics journals.

These statistics are very similar to those for 2008 and therefore remain rather disappointing; the corresponding figures for competitor journals are Econometric Theory 0.743 (125), Journal of Econometrics 1.902 (32), Review of Economics and Statistics 2.555, (18), Journal of Applied Econometrics 1.635 (42) and Journal of Business and Economic Statistics 1.562 (45).


Table 1 which displays the geographical distribution of submissions indicates that proportionately the Econometrics Journal is still failing to attract submissions from North America. Indeed in relative terms the numbers of submissions from North America has declined since 2009. In contradistinction Table 2 emphasises the continuing predominance of accepted papers originating in North America and Europe.

Consequently the Econometrics Journal has requested that Wiley-Blackwell provide a detailed summary of promotional activities specifically devoted to the Econometrics Journal. In addition the journal has started to construct its own database of econometricians broadly defined on an international basis. It has also initiated the compilation of a list of international conferences, workshops and meetings that are likely to be of interest to and attended by econometricians.

The intention is that together with the current Wiley-Blackwell efforts on behalf of the Econometrics Journal these lists will provide the basis for a focused promotional campaign to assist in achieving the objective of establishing the Econometrics Journal as a top international general field journal for the publication of econometric research.

The Denis Sargan Econometrics Prize

The Econometrics Journal on behalf of the Royal Economic Society will initiate The Denis Sargan Econometrics Prize. The prize will be awarded for the best (unsolicited) article published in The Econometrics Journal in a given year by anyone who is within five years of being awarded their doctorate. An honorarium of £1000 will be awarded to the winning author.

The winner of The Denis Sargan Prize will be chosen by the Econometrics Journal Editorial Board (Managing Editor and Co-Editors) and the prize awarded in the year following publication of the winning article. The first award of the prize will be for an article published in the Econometrics Journal during 2011. If an article of sufficient quality is not forthcoming in a given year the prize would not be awarded.

Royal Economic Society Annual Conference

Submissions were invited from presenters at the Econometrics Journal Special Session on ‘Factor Models: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives’ at the RES Annual Conference 2009 at the University of Surrey. The papers are:

  • Angelini E, G Camba-Mendez, D Giannone, L Reichlin and G. Rünstler: ‘Short-term Forecasts of Euro Area GDP Growth’.
  • Chudik A, M H Pesaran and E Tosetti: ‘Weak and Strong Cross Section Dependence and Estimation of Large Panels’.
  • Ng S and E Moench: ‘A Hierarchical Factor Analysis of US Housing Market Dynamics’.

Versions of the papers are now accepted and will appear in a Special Issue of the Econometrics Journal scheduled for publication early next year.

The Econometrics Journal organized a Special Session on Econometrics of Inequality at the RES Annual Conference 2010 also held at the University of Surrey. Papers were presented by Stephen Donald (University of Texas at Austin) and Russell Davidson (McGill University). Christian Schluter (University of Southampton) presented the discussion.

Submissions have been solicited from the presenters for a Special Issue of the Econometrics Journal on ‘Econometrics of Inequality’. Special Sessions associated with the Econometrics Journal will be arranged at subsequent RES Annual Conferences.

EC2 Special Issue on Recent Developments in Structural Microeconometrics

The Special Issue of the Econometrics Journal on ‘Recent Developments in Structural Microeconometrics’ arising from the 19th EC2 Conference held in Rome on December 19-20, 2008, is now complete and is scheduled for publication later this year. Jean-Marc Robin acted as Editor for this Special Issue. Contributing authors include: F Fève, J P Florens, P Haan, F Iskhakov, I Komunjer, L M Magnusson, V Prowse, A Santos and A Vanhems.

Book and software reviews

Books were received from the publishers Cambridge University Press, Springer, McGraw Hill and University of Chicago Press. The Book Reviews Editor of the journal commissioned a review by G Koop on A First Course in Bayesian Statistical Methods (Springer, 2009) authored by P D Hoff. The review was published in Issue 13.1 of the Econometrics Journal during 2010.

The Software Reviews Editor of the journal has commissioned a review of Stata. The review has been delayed and is now expected to be published in an issue of the journal in 2011.


The difficulties earlier experienced with the typesetting of papers according to the Econometrics Journal ‘Style Guide’ have substantially subsided. Wiley-Blackwell have regularised their procedures which has substantially reduced the number of deviations. The placing of accepted papers on the web-site of the Econometrics Journal occurs rapidly usually within a week of receipt of the final version.

Editorial process

The journal’s Editorial Office has experienced no particular difficulties with Editorial Express® this year. Editorial Express® has responded promptly to any issues raised with them.



A total of 162 new submissions were received under Editorial Express®. This total represents a modest increase of 13 (8.72 per cent) over that reported for 2009. Additionally there were 58 resubmissions received during this period. It should be noted that new submissions and resubmissions include papers associated with the various Special Issues of the Econometrics Journal.


A total of 204 decisions were made by the Editorial Board. Of these 149 concerned new submissions which also comprised 3 associated with the RES Conference 2008 Special Issue of the Econometrics Journal. Of the remaining 146 new submissions 94 (64.38 per cent) were screen-rejections which represents a rise from the figure of 57.64 per cent for 2009. Of the 52 papers not screen rejected, 27 (51.92 per cent) were either return for revision or acceptance decisions (2009: 49.18 per cent), the remaining 25 (48.08 per cent) being rejections. Overall, 122 papers or 83.56 per cent (2009: 79.17 per cent) of decisions were either screen-rejections or rejections. A total of 17 non-Special Issue papers were accepted by the current Editorial Board.

The high number of screen-rejections reflects the continued determination of the Editorial Board to drive up the standard of submissions and accepted papers in order to establish the Econometrics Journal as top international general field journal for econometric research.

    Table 3: Turnaround statistics


Decision durations

The mean estimate for time to decision in days was 56 (26, 13, 98) [2009: 60 (28, 14, 98)] for decisions on all submissions and resubmissions. The figures in parentheses are the median, first quartile and third quartile estimates. Kaplan-Meier estimates of the stratified survivor functions for time to decision are also presented. Excluding screen-rejections the respective figures are 91 (94, 45, 124).

The mean estimate for time to decision in days for all decisions on new submissions was 55 (23, 12, 98). The corresponding figures for non-screen rejections and for a resubmission decision were 123 (112, 93,150) [2009: 129 (138, 81,163)] and 125 (110, 93, 154) [2009: 118 (101, 77, 129)]. For resubmissions the mean estimate for time to decision was 62 (50, 21, 98) as compared with 63 days for 2009.

   Table 4: Response to authors

These data indicate a continued improvement in overall decision performance which as previously can be primarily attributed to the policy of intensively screening submissions. As last year a residual concern is that for non screen-rejected papers although decision times mainly are not too out of line with the four month desired maximum turn-around period decisions for a few papers deviated substantially from the target due to some recalcitrant referees which has given rise to the relatively long tail in these various distributions. An advantage of Editorial Express® is that The Editorial Office of the Econometrics Journal is able straightforwardly to monitor the editorial process for all submissions and to bring any outlier papers to the attention of the Editor.


The Editorial Office is very grateful for the support of the Royal Economic Society and its officers. Particular recognition should be given to the editorial team and anonymous referees whose efforts ensure that the quality of the Econometrics Journal is maintained and improved. The publishers Wiley-Blackwell have also been a great support.

From issue no. 152, January 2011, pp.8-10.

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