Referee Recommendations

36 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2012 Last revised: 3 Jun 2013

See all articles by Ivo Welch

Ivo Welch

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: June 2, 2013


This paper analyzes referee recommendations at the SFS Cavalcade, where a known algorithm matched referees to submissions, and at eight prominent economics and finance journals (ECMTA, JEEA, JET, QJE, IER, RAND, JF, RFS). The behavior of referees was similar in all venues. The referee-specific component was about twice as important as the common component. Referees differed both in their scales (some referees were intrinsically more generous than others) and in their opinions of what a good paper was (they often disagreed about the relative ordering of papers). My paper quantifies these effects.

JEL Classification: A14

Suggested Citation

Welch, Ivo, Referee Recommendations (June 2, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Ivo Welch (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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