Who Runs the AEA?

Author: 
Kevin D. Hoover and Andrej Svorenčík
Publication Number: 
2020-12
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, December 2, 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.

Affiliation: 
Duke University (Hoover) and University of Mannheim (Svorenčík)