Who Runs the AEA?
Center for the History of Political Economy at Duke University Working Paper Series, No. 2020-12
91 Pages Posted: 11 Dec 2020 Last revised: 15 Dec 2020
Date Written: November 27, 2020
The leadership structure of the American Economics Association is documented using a biographical database covering every officer and losing candidate for AEA offices from 1950 to 2019. The analysis focuses on institutional affiliations by education and employment. The structure is strongly hierarchical. A few institutions dominate the leadership, and their dominance has become markedly stronger over time. Broadly two types of explanations are explored: that institutional dominance is based on academic merit or that it based on self-perpetuating privilege. Network effects that might explain the dynamic of increasing concentration are also investigated.
Keywords: American Economic Association, prosopography, academic networks
JEL Classification: A11, B29, D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation