Markets in Everything: AER Publication

From EJMR:

I have a new paper that I consider my best work. For a variety of reasons, the marginal return professionally for this paper is very small for me. But I think it has an excellent shot a top
journal, I would estimate 1/3 at the AER (I have published there before). So I am offering it for sale. Here are the details:

1. This paper is not yet posted on my website. It has not been circulated and I have not yet presented it.

2. The paper is applied micro although I will sell it to anyone.

3. Email bids to econ[email protected]. Use a fake account and make sure to send no revealing information.

4. Your bid is for an AER or QJE. If it ends in Restud, you pay 65%. If it ends in the Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of Public Economics, or EJ, you pay 35%. Other journals are negotiable. You can choose the submission path as long as it starts with one of the top journals.

5. I will contact the winning bid (or highest real bid) to arrange an in person meeting in Philly at the meetings. We will never leave a paper trail.

6. Half of payment is due with a revise and resubmit. I will also make the needed changes. The final half is due with final acceptance.

7. Spare me any discussion of the ethics here. I am dead serious and I will not be commenting further on this thread.

The whole thing could be a troll or an experiment but let’s assume it’s real. An AER could easily be worth 50k, especially for someone early in their career but that’s for one you wrote yourself. An AER written by someone else has a significantly lower expected value since, if revealed, it may end your career. Moreover, suppose the buyer, as unlikely as it seems, takes advantage of the big push and makes it big on their own. Is the buyer not then vulnerable to blackmail from the seller who already has signaled their ethics? I can see this appealing, however, to the scion of some dictator who could afford to pay well over 50k and also afford to make the seller pay if the secret is revealed. Caveat emptor and also caveat venditor. True, there are not many econ PhDs among the dictator set but there are a few and sadly this kind of thing does have precedents.

P.S. I did like the discounting by journal, a nice, accurate touch.

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