Penn Journal of Economics

The PJE is an initiative launched by the Undergraduate Economics Society at Penn. To receive regular updates, please contact our submissions email and ask to join our listserv. We will soon migrate to a new website.

We're recruiting! Apply here by Thursday 1/28. See "How to join" for further information.

Latest News

Forthcoming Articles

Forthcoming Interviews

About the PJE

The Penn Journal of Economics (PJE) is a new semi-annual, peer-reviewed publication for undergraduates, which aims

  • to give our authors an additional vehicle for publicizing their research and a greater incentive to engage in it.
  • to provide our undergraduate readers with exemplars of academic projects that may inspire and guide them in pursuing their own.
  • to provide our faculty readers with greater insight into the capabilities of our undergraduate authors.
  • to present all of our readers with insightful articles, results, and interviews of relevance to their common interests.

Students engage in research within a variety of contexts, from honors theses to research assistantships, from independent study to term papers. Broadly, we solicit work that aids in in our academic understanding of social systems and human behavior. After careful review by our referees and discussion among the editorial staff, we publish the work that we find particularly well-executed, interesting, and innovative. Besides being available online, physical copies will be sent to accepted authors and a limited number of interested students.

Our team consists of current/former students at Penn, MIT, and Berkeley.

Editorial Staff

Our editors run the journal, and have wide-ranging academic backgrounds that include economics, math, computer science, statistics, political science, and international relations.


In addition to our editorial staff, we rely on the expertise of our volunteer referees to aid us in the review process.

Latest Issue

Volume 1, Issue 1: "The Legacy Issue"

Our first issue was released online during the summer of 2015. Here, we showcase some of the finest work done by Penn undergraduates in recent years, hence the nickname. Submissions were drawn from former winners of Penn's' annual Lawrence R. Klein Prize for Outstanding Research in Economics, recommendations by Prof. Kenneth I. Wolpin, and a call for papers issued by the UES in 2012.

Research Papers

  • The Role of Retail Investors in Book Built IPOs: Evidence from India
    Seth W. Pollack (Penn, 2013) (pdf)

  • Wildfire Risk and the Residential Housing Market: A Spatial Hedonic Analysis
    A.J. Rossi (Penn, 2014) (pdf)

  • Quality Disclosure, Limited Attention, and the Availability Heuristic: The Influence of College Rankings on Student Demand
    Kathy Qian (Penn, 2012) (pdf)

Other Content

  • Letter from the Editor
  • Staff and Acknowledgements

Past Issues

This journal was founded in Fall 2014, and does not yet have any past issues.

Submission Statistics

We provide these statistics primarily for the benefit of authors who are deciding whether or not to submit their paper. For the most recent issue, 9 papers passed the preliminary review for a total of 17 referee reports.

Volume Issue Submission Count Proportion Accepted School Concentration*
1 1 25 12% 1.00
1 2 32 13% 0.19
2 1 - - -

*This is based on the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index. A value of 1 indicates all submissions came from one school. A value close to zero indicates that submissions were dispered among a large number of schools.

Editorial Policies

Criteria: We consider the following factors when deciding whether to publish a paper:

  • Originality of research and potential significance to the economics profession.
  • Interest to our readership.
  • Presentation and quality of writing.
  • Complementarities between two or more papers that we publish.

Process: We practice a double-blind peer review with at least two referees looking over any accepted paper. Our referee pool consists of editors, previously published authors, and other volunteers. Papers may be accepted, accepted with a request for changes, invited for a resubmission with a request for changes, or declined. When changes are requested, the author must be available and cooperative in order for an accepted paper to be included in the issue.

Distribution: We intend readers to access our journal online. We also prepare a limited physical distribution. Published authors will receive a copy free-of-charge. Additional copies will be available at the University of Pennsylvania.

How to Submit

Please submit your paper via e-mail to the Editorial Staff at Submissions are received year-round, but concentrated around semiannual calls for papers.

Topic: Your paper must be relevant to economics or, more broadly, to social systems and human behavior. Papers in complementary fields such as finance, statistics, mathematics, political science, or international relations are also considered; please note, however, that papers will be judged according to the methodological standards and the research priorities of the economics discipline.

Content: Suggested formats may include:

  • Research Papers
  • Literature Reviews
  • Policy Briefs
  • Interviews

There are no formal length restrictions, but the typical research paper will range from 15 to 35 pages.

Files: Please send us a PDF version in addition to a Word/Pages/LaTeX file. Remove all personally identifying information, such as name, school, and professors (but do provide your name/school in your submission email).

Submitting Elsewhere: Any papers published in the PJE must not be published elsewhere. With that said, we allow potential authors to submit their papers to other journals, as long as they either withdraw their submission from us or from the other journals after the preliminary review is complete.

Post-Graduate Submission: Our policy is to consider any work written by pre-doctoral students, particularly as the line between undergraduate and graduate is often blurred (for example, when students sub-matriculate or initiate work during their undergraduate years that is later completed). Indeed, most of our submissions come from graduates submitting their senior theses. Often, these authors are working as research assistants with the intention to apply to PhD programs.

Other Requirements: If your paper is accepted for publication, you will typically be asked to provide:

  • A 100-150 word abstract
  • Files used to construct tables, graphics, or charts
  • Datasets and relevant code

In addition, we may request the author's help in converting their submission to a LaTeX file.

How to Join

If you're interested in joining us, please apply here. You may want to take a look at our slides from our Fall 2015 GBM. You may also email for more information. Finally, please note that we accept qualified applicants from all universities.

The operation of our journal involves a variety of roles.

  • Editors are the bedrock of our journal, and take upon themselves the key managerial and supportive tasks related to its production, marketing, and distribution. Different editors will have a different focus depending on their skills/interests. However, all editors will be involved in reviewing papers and ultimately voting on which to include in our journal. Specializations include (but are not limited to):
    • Interviewers who conduct written interviews with professional or academic economists on topics relevant to our audience; as with referees (see below), this position demands a certain amount of experience and technical knowledge.

  • Referees are responsible for reading, reviewing, and reporting on the most promising papers submitted to the PJE. Their written recommendations will be used by the editorial staff to determine whether a paper should be published, and occasionally by authors to revise and resubmit their work. Here, technical knowledge in various fields (especially, economics and statistics) is highly valued. Our referees consist of editors, volunteers, and previous authors. In return for their service, referees receive a certain priority when submitting papers of their own (the preliminary review is waived).