Econometrics Journal — Editor’s annual report

The managing editor, Richard J Smith, made the annual report covering the period July 1 2011 to June 30 2012, to the Council of the Royal Economic Society in November. This is an edited 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.

Editorial board

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

At the invitation of the Royal Economic Society, the Editorial Board of the Econometrics Journal undertook at the end of 2011 a review of its editorial structure with the particular intention of refreshing and renewing the Associate Editors of the journal. The recruitment of an Editorial Board of international distinction is and has been critical to raising the international profile and academic standing of the Econometrics Journal. These editorial appointments underline and reinforce the original intention of the Royal Economic Society 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.

The Econometrics Journal is grateful to Victor Aguirregabiria (Toronto), Victor Chernozhukov (MIT), Yongmiao Hong (Cornell), Nour Meddahi (Toulouse), Per Mykland (Chicago), Chris Taber (Wisconsin) and Zhijie Xiao (Boston College) who have completed terms as Associate Editors for the important help and advice they have provided.

The Econometrics Journal is also pleased to welcome as new Associate Editors Daniel Ackerberg (Michigan), Chunrong Ai (Florida), Jörg Breitung (Bonn), Federico Bugni (Duke), Ivan Canay (Northwestern), Giuseppe Cavaliere (Bologna), John Chao (UMD), Yingying Fan (USC), Ivan Fernandez-Val (Boston), Silvia Goncalves (Montreal), Stefan Hoderlein (Boston College), Shakeeb Khan (Duke), Tatiana Komorova (LSE), Ivana Komunjer (USCD), Serena Ng (Columbia), Morten Nielsen (Queen's), Alexei Onatski (Cambridge), Taisuke Otsu (Yale), Aureo de Paula (Penn/UCL), Zhongjun Qu (Boston), Andres Santos (UCSD), Oliver Scaillet (Geneva), Susanne Schennach (Brown), Azeem Shaikh (Chicago) and Gautam Tripathi (Connecticut).

We are also delighted that the following have agreed to continue as Associate Editors: Federico Bandi (Johns Hopkins University), Xiaohong Chen (Yale), Valentina Corradi (Warwick), Emmanuel Guerre (QMUL), Patrik Guggenberger (UCSD), Christian Hansen (Chicago), Michael Jansson (Berkeley), Yuichi Kitamura (Yale), Dennis Kristensen (UCL), Guido Kuersteiner (Georgetown), Sokbae Lee (UCL), Offer Lieberman (Haifa), Thierry Magnac (Toulouse), Marcelo Moreira (Columbia), Joris Pinkse (Pennsylvania State), Andrew Patton (Duke), Elie Tamer (Northwestern), Allan Timmermann (UCSD), Anders Rahbek (Copenhagen), Robert Taylor (Nottingham), Tim Vogelsang (Michigan State), Quang Vuong (Pennsylvania State), Ed Vytlacil (Yale) and Yazhen Wang (Wisconsin).

Progress

Impact factors

The fourth set of data from the ISI Citation Index on the Econometrics Journal became available for 2011. Its impact factor is 0.870 (0.691, 0.733, 0.750, 0.479) with 2007-10 data in parentheses. The immediacy index is 0.240 (0.176, 0.125, 0.065, 0.034). The eigen-factor score and five year impact factor are 0.00280 (0.00352) and 0.964 (1.166) respectively, 2010 figures in parentheses. The journal impact factor ranks the Econometrics Journal at 145 (167) out of 321 (305) economics journals.

The impact factor has pleasingly risen somewhat as compared with previous years although the eigen-factor score score and five year impact factor have disappointingly fallen. The corresponding figures for competitor journals are Econometric Theory 0.855 (147), Journal of Econometrics 1.349 (83), Review of Economics and Statistics 2.664 (20), Journal of Applied Econometrics 1.758 (48) and Journal of Business and Economic Statistics 1.779 (46).

These figures represent an improvement on previous years although it should be noted that short-term figures, the impact factor in particular, are volatile measures. The impact of the journal therefore continues to give some cause for concern.

Promotion

Table 1 displays the geographical distribution of new submissions for 2011-12. This table indicates that proportionately the number of submissions attracted from North America by the Econometrics Journal fell substantially reversing the increase back to a similar historical level of earlier years.

Recall that this return could be attributed in part to the high preponderance of North American authors among the contributors to the Tenth Anniversary Special Issue. Consequently, the Econometrics Journal is still failing to attract the numbers and quality of submission from North America required to achieve its aim of becoming a top international general journal for econometrics research. The proportion of submissions from Europe is similar to that of previous years. Table 2 once again emphasises the continuing predominance of acceptances originating from North America and Europe.

These results once again underline the continuing concern that the promotional activities undertaken by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Econometrics Journal may not be particularly suitable for the desired readership appropriate for achieving the aims of the Econometrics Journal. These concerns have been brought to the attention of Wiley-Blackwell on a number of occasions. Indeed the conferences listed in recent Publishers’ Reports indicate the omission of a large number of important econometrics conferences, in particular, those sponsored by The Econometric Society outside of Europe.

The Econometrics Journal has asked Wiley-Blackwell to monitor carefully and evaluate the response to the recent e-mail campaigns and conference promotions.

The Denis Sargan Econometrics Prize

The Econometrics Journal Denis Sargan Econometrics Prize is 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 Editorial Board (Managing Editor and Co-Editors) is currently evaluating those qualifying articles published in the Journal in 2011. It is hoped that the winner of the prize will be announced shortly.

Royal Economic Society Annual Conference

Submissions have been invited from the presenters Rosa Matzkin (UCLA) and Andrew Chesher (UCL) arising from the Econometrics Journal Special Session on ‘Nonparametric Identification: Current Issues and Problems’ at the RES Annual Conference 2011 at Royal Holloway University of London.

The Econometrics Journal organized a Special Session on Econometrics of Forecasting at the RES Annual Conference 2012 held at the University of Cambridge.

Papers presented were:

Raffaella Giacomini (UCL) ‘Economic Theory and Forecasting’ and Siem Jan Koopman (Free University Amsterdam) ’Likelihood-Based Dynamic Factor Analysis for Measurement and Forecasting’. The discussant was Brendan McCabe (University of Liverpool).

Submissions have been solicited from the presenters for a Special Issue of the Econometrics Journal on the Econometrics of Forecasting. The Special issue of the Econometrics Journal on the Econometrics of Inequality arising from the RES Annual Conference 2010 is now complete and was published in Volume 15, Issue No, 1 January 2012. Oliver Linton acted as Co-Editor for the Special Issue. The papers are:

Donald, S G (University of Texas at Austin), Y-C. Hsu (University of Missouri at Columbia) and G F Barrett (University of Sydney): ‘Incorporating Covariates in the Measurement of Welfare and Inequality: Methods and Applications.’ Davidson, R (McGill University): ‘Statistical Inference in the Presence of Heavy Tails.’

The Discussion of the papers is authored by C Schluter (Aix-Marseille Université). Special Sessions associated with the Econometrics Journal will be arranged at subsequent RES Annual Conferences.

EC2 Special Issue on Identification in Econometrics: Theory and Applications

Papers from the 21st EC2 Conference held in Toulouse on December 17-18, 2010 will be published in a Special Issue of the Econometrics Journal on the theme of Identification in Econometrics: Theory and Applications in the first issue 2013.

Contributing authors include C F Manski, I Mourifie, M Henry, T Komarova and J F Kiviet. Elie Tamer, an Associate Editor, and Christian Bontemps acted as guest Editors for the Special Issue.

Book and Software Reviews

In 2011-12 books were received from the publishers Oxford University Press, Springer, Macmillan, Princeton University Press and MIT Press.

Book reviews published:

By J M C Santos Silva on Micro-Econometrics: Methods of Moments and Limited Dependent Variables (2e) by M-J Lee. The review was published in Vol. 14 Issue No. 2 (2011).

By R.A. Wilke on Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data (2e) by J M Wooldridge. The review was published in Vol. 14 Issue No. 3 (2011).

Book reviews to be published:

By D R Osborn on Modelling Nonlinear Economic Time Series by T Teräsvirta, D Tjøstheim and C W J Granger. To be published in Vol. 15 Issue No. 2 (2012).

The Book Reviews Editor of the Econometrics Journal commissioned three reviews:

By Patrick Marsh on Non-Parametric Econometrics (Oxford U P) authored by I Ahamada and E Flachaire.

By R Disney on Econometric Methods for Labour Economics (Oxford University Press) authored by S. Bazen.

By A M R Taylor on Unit Root Tests in Time Series, Vol.1 Key Concepts and Problems and Vol.2 Extensions and Developments (Macmillan) authored by K. Patterson.

Access to information on Book and Software reviews is now provided via a new link in the Left Hand Menu of the Econometrics Journal Home Page.

Publishers

The continuing ambition is to attract higher quality submissions and build a profile of the Econometrics Journal particularly in North America. Wiley-Blackwell now regularly report the top downloaded articles and have increased the number of e-mail campaigns.

They have yet to report on how they intend to promote the Econometrics Journal at Econometric Society meetings and other meetings of econometricians. The Journal prefers an active rather than reactive rôle in contributing to the preparation of resources for conferences and marketing campaigns.

Procedures for publication of accepted papers, notes and book reviews on the Journal’s website operate smoothly and efficiently with manuscripts being posted within one week of acceptance of the final version. Substantial difficulties with the typesetting of papers according to the Econometrics Journal Style Guide have reoccurred.

JSTOR

Digitization of the Econometrics Journal is underway, hopefully for release by JSTOR later this year.

Editorial process

The Editorial Office has recently been in contact with Editorial Express® to establish ownership of contacts within the Editorial Express® data base. The Royal Economic Society, as owner, is able to use this information. Within the private copies of referee databases of the Economic Journal and the Econometrics Journal there are 9118 and 1014 contacts respectively. More contacts are available in the e-submission data base (1101 for the Econometrics Journal).

The Editorial Office has withdrawn a number of papers that have been ‘timed-out’; these papers had been returned for revision but were never resubmitted despite reminders. As a result inconsistencies have appeared in the statistics relating to the papers. For example, there is no explicit record of the first return for revision decision in the Editorial Information for the withdrawn paper; the ‘elapsed time’ statistic shows the time from ‘Initial Submission’ to the ‘Withdrawal’ decision. Impacts are that manual adjustment is required in the ‘Returned For Revision’ statistic and that the ‘Papers In Progress’ statistic is affected. An alternative method to withdrawing ‘timed-out’ papers is being considered.

Statistics

Monthly statistics and editorial reports are provided to all members of the Editorial Board and Associate Editors to keep them in touch with the progress of the journal.

Submissions

A total of 159 new submissions were received under Editorial Express®. This total represents an increase of 21 (15.22 per cent) over that reported for 2011. Additionally there were 47 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.

Decisions

A total of 221 decisions were made by the Editorial Board. Of these 174 concerned new submissions. Of the new submissions 121 (69.54 per cent) were screen-rejections which represents a rise from the figure of 60.00 per cent for 2011. Of the 53 papers not screen rejected, 28 (52.83 per cent) were either return for resubmission or acceptance decisions (2011: 39.66 per cent), the remaining 23 (43.40 per cent) being rejections. Overall, 149 papers or 85.63 per cent (2011: 84.14 per cent) of decisions were either screen-rejections or rejections. A total of 20 (2011: 22) papers were accepted by the Editorial Board representing an acceptance rate of 9.05 per cent (2011: 12.02 per cent).

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

Decision Durations

The mean estimate for time to decision in days was 50 (23, 12, 103) [2011: 60 (27, 14, 103)] 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 (92, 35, 135).

The mean estimate for time to decision in days for all decisions on new submissions was 49 (22, 11, 84). The corresponding figures for non-screen rejections and for a resubmission decision were 119 (116, 90,143) [2011: 123 (114, 88,142)] and 137 (129, 98, 171) [2011: 112 (105, 88, 127)]. For resubmissions the mean estimate for time to decision was 50 (32, 15, 76) as compared to 75 (60, 22, 117) for 2011.

These data indicate a satisfactory improvement in overall decision performance which may be primarily attributed to the policy of an increased intensive screening of submissions. As in previous year a concern remains for non screen-rejected papers although decision times mainly are not too out of line with the four month desired maximum turn-around period for decisions; the difficulty noted last year with the decision times for a few papers deviating substantially from target producing relatively long distributional tails has disappeared. 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.


Acknowledgements

The Editorial Office of the Econometrics Journal 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. We are also grateful for the assistance offered by the publishers Wiley-Blackwell to the Econometrics Journal.

From issue no. 160, January 2013, pp.12-16.

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