Here is the announcement. Presumably they wish to claw back some of the quantity going to the ever-multiplying number of AEA journals and to thus avoid being an afterthought. Will the average quality of JPE article decline? I suppose by one definition it has to, but in such a rapidly specializing discipline, who will notice? Is it really so clear which pieces come close but don’t quite deserve to belong in the JPE? I for one could not pass this “blind taste test” in my role as a JPE reader, and I have been following the rag for decades.
As a polar experiment, what if they put out an issue every day, and in essence the top journals took all the published pieces? Then the notion of having a “top three” hit (or whatever) would dwindle and people actually would have to judge the work. A modest move in that direction should be just fine, said the daily blogger.
In the meantime, the leading lights of the profession — most of all in the earlier parts of their careers — should be prepared for that much more refereeing. Ay!