The Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (BPEA) is an academic journal on a broad range of macroeconomic issues currently impacting the public policy debates. The journal emphasizes rigorous analysis that has an empirical orientation, takes real-world institutions seriously, and is relevant to economic policy. Working drafts of the papers are presented and discussed at conferences typically held twice each year in spring and fall, and the final versions of the papers and comments along with summaries of the general discussions are published in the journal several months later.

Topics covered by the journal include fiscal and monetary policy, consumption and saving behavior, business investment, housing, asset pricing, labor markets, wage- and price-setting, business cycles, long-run economic growth, the distribution of income and wealth, international capital flows and exchange rates, international trade and development, and the macroeconomic implications of health care costs, energy supply and demand, environmental issues, and the education system.

Although most BPEA papers are solicited by editors, unsolicited proposals are welcome. Interested authors should submit the following materials via this submission form. 

  • Proposal: The proposal can be 1) a completed academic paper; OR 2) a detailed paper outline (no more than five double-spaced pages) with specified data sources and preliminary empirical results.
  • Letter to editors: A one-page letter outlining the proposal.
Editors evaluate the proposals on a rolling basis based on their originality, analytical rigor, policy relevance, and the needs of the conference program. Editorial decisions are typically made nine months prior to each conference – proposals received by December 1 are considered for the following fall conference, and those received by June 1 for the spring. However, qualified proposals may be considered for conferences outside of the normal evaluation timeline, depending on the timeliness of the topics and the program needs. Proposals from early career researchers, and members of under-represented groups in the economics profession are encouraged. Given the volume of proposals we receive, only the authors of accepted proposals will be contacted, typically within three weeks.

More information on the past BPEA papers and conferences can be found here.

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