Western Economic Association International

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Western Economic Association International
Formation 1922
Legal status 501(c)3 California Corporation
Purpose Encourage economic research and discussion, freedom in discussion, and issuance of publications for dissemination of research [1]
Headquarters Fountain Valley, California, U.S.
Region served
1,800 Individuals and 40 Institutions
Executive Director
Darwin Hall, CSULB
Main organ
Executive Board [2]
Website www.weai.org

Founded in 1922, Western Economic Association International (WEAI) is a non-profit academic society dedicated to the encouragement and dissemination of economic research and analysis. WEAI's principal activities include the publishing of two quarterly journals, Economic Inquiry and Contemporary Economic Policy, and the staging of a large Annual Conference each summer as well as smaller biennial Pacific Rim Conferences. Membership includes approximately 1,800 individuals from around the world, and over 40 academic institutions, business firms, and other organizations that share WEAI's educational objectives.


From WEAI's 2009 Bylaws: "The purposes and objectives for which the Western Economic Association International is formed shall be: (a) the encouragement of economic research and discussion; (b) the encouragement of freedom in economic discussion; and (c) the issuance of publications for the purpose of disseminating knowledge on economic subjects. The corporation shall take no partisan attitude, nor will it commit its Members to any position on theoretical or practical economic questions."[1]


Economic Inquiry

Published since 1962, (formerly Western Economic Journal), EI is widely regarded as one of the top scholarly journals in its field.[2][3] Besides containing research on all economics topic areas, a principal objective is to make each article understandable to economists who are not necessarily specialists in the article's topic area. Twenty-one Nobel Laureates are among Economic Inquiry's long list of prestigious authors. EI was one of the first journals to publish humor papers (now called Miscellany) with the still highly downloaded article "Life Among the Econ" by Axel Leijonhufvud,[4] and recently "The Theory of Interstellar Trade: by Paul Krugman.[5] In 2007, then editor R. Preston McAfee introduced the innovative No Revisions policy[6][7] for submitted manuscripts. Published in cooperation with Wiley-Blackwell, EI's worldwide circulation is approximately 4,200. Wesley W. Wilson, University of Oregon, is the current editor.

Contemporary Economic Policy

First published in 1982 as Contemporary Policy Issues, Contemporary Economic Policy publishes scholarly economic research and analysis on issues of vital concern to business, government, and other decision makers. Leading scholars, including four Nobel Laureates, are among CEP's authors. The objectives are to communicate results of high quality economic analysis to policymakers, focus high quality research and analysis on current policy issues of widespread concern, increase knowledge among economists of features of the economy key to understanding the impact of policy, and to advance methods of policy analysis. CEP aims to publish articles that will be widely read and cited, and economic analyses with an impact on policy choices, rather than papers that fill a narrow niche or are of parochial interest. CEP publishes economic analysis of policy issues, methods and results for policy analysis, and surveys. Published in cooperation with Wiley-Blackwell, CEP's worldwide circulation is approximately 3,900. Brad Humphreys, University of Alberta, is the current editor.


Annual Conferences

Held each summer between mid-June and mid-July, WEAI Annual Conferences provide the opportunity for more than 1,000 economists from around the world to meet and exchange ideas. An average of 300 concurrent sessions are held with participants presenting individual research papers, serving as discussants for papers, chairing sessions, and also organizing entire sessions on the topics of their choice. Other academic societies with similar objectives to WEAI participate as Allied Societies regularly holding sessions and sometimes their own annual meetings[8] in conjunction with WEAI conferences. Conference highlights include the Annual WEAI Presidential Address as well as the Association's newest member-sponsored program, the Graduate Student Dissertation Workshop.

Pacific Rim Conferences

Held since 1994 in cities like Hong Kong, Taipei, Bangkok, Sydney, Beijing, Kyoto, Brisbane, and Tokyo, the biennial Pacific Rim Conferences have become a highly successful marketplace of ideas for economists from around the world. Partnerships have been established in the organizing of these conferences with universities and organizations such as Queensland University of Technology School of Business, Ryukoku University, Guanghua School of Management Peking University, Academia Sinica, and Hong Kong Economic Association. A smaller format than the Annual Conference, the Pacific Rim Conference program generally consists of 80 to 100 sessions including 250 to 300 economists serving as paper presenters, discussants, chairs, and session organizers. Keynote speakers include Nobel Laureates such as James Heckman, Ken Arrow, and Robert Engle.

Past, Present, and Future WEAI Presidents

Asterisk (*) indicates recipient of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel[9]

  • 2014 John Pencavel
  • 2013 George G. Kaufman
  • 2012 Lucian A. Bebchuk
  • 2011 Richard A. Easterlin
  • 2010 Paul A. David
  • 2009 Ronald W. Jones
  • 2008 Paul Milgrom
  • 2007 James J. Heckman*
  • 2006 Gary D. Libecap
  • 2005 Robert Barro
  • 2004 Janet Yellen
  • 2003 Clive W. J. Granger*
  • 2002 Yoram Barzel
  • 2001 Michael R. Darby
  • 2000 Oliver E. Williamson*
  • 1999 Charles R. Plott
  • 1998 Steven N. S. Cheung
  • 1997 Gary Becker*
  • 1996 Harold Demsetz
  • 1995 Gordon Tullock
  • 1994 Michael C. Jensen
  • 1993 Jack Hirshleifer
  • 1992 Walter Y. Oi
  • 1991 Vernon L. Smith*
  • 1990 Arnold C. Harberger
  • 1989 Moses Abramovitz
  • 1988 Anna J. Schwartz
  • 1987 Robert W. Clower
  • 1986 Allan H. Meltzer
  • 1985 Milton Friedman*
  • 1984 James M. Buchanan*
  • 1983 Abba P. Lerner—James M. Buchanan* (Acting Pres.)
  • 1982 M. Bruce Johnson
  • 1981 Kenneth J. Arrow*
  • 1980 Donald F. Gordon
  • 1979 Thomas Mayer
  • 1978 Howard R. Bowen
  • 1977 H. Scott Gordon
  • 1976 Douglass C. North*
  • 1975 Armen A. Alchian
  • 1974 Karl Brunner
  • 1973 Earl R. Rolph
  • 1972 Thomas R. Saving
  • 1971 William R. Allen
  • 1970 Charles B. Friday
  • 1969 Walter J. Mead
  • 1968 Dean A. Worcester
  • 1967 G. N. Rostvold
  • 1966 Paul Simpson
  • 1965 George Cady
  • 1964 Phillip W. Cartwright
  • 1963 Wytze Gorter
  • 1962 William O. Jones
  • 1961 Ralph I. Thayer
  • 1960 J. Fred Weston
  • 1959 Paul L. Kleinsorge
  • 1958 Frank L. Kidner
  • 1957 Floyd A. Bond
  • 1956 Kenneth L. Trefftzs
  • 1955 Gault W. Lynn
  • 1954 Clifford E. Maser
  • 1953 M. M. Stockwell
  • 1952 Oliver P. Wheeler
  • 1951 John A. Guthrie
  • 1950 Dilworth Walker
  • 1949 Glenn E. Hoover
  • 1948 Robert G. Pettengill
  • 1947 William S. Hopkins
  • 1946 John B. Condliffe
  • 1943-5 James H. Gilbert
  • 1942 Bernard F. Haley—James H. Gilbert (Acting Pres.)
  • 1941 Robert D. Calkins
  • 1940 Arthur G. Coons
  • 1939 Richard B. Heflebower
  • 1938 James K. Hall
  • 1937 John B. Canning
  • 1936 Kenneth Duncan
  • 1935 W. L. Wanlass—Glen E. Hoover (Acting Pres.)
  • 1934 Reid L. McClung
  • 1933 Clement Akerman
  • 1932 Shirley J. Coon
  • 1931 John A. Bexell—Kenneth Duncan (Acting Pres.)
  • 1930 Thomas A. Beal
  • 1929 Howard S. Nobel
  • 1928 Ira B. Cross
  • 1927 Theodore H. Boggs
  • 1926 Edwin C. Robbins
  • 1925 Howard T. Lewis
  • 1924 Rockwell D. Hunt
  • 1923 Eliot Jones
  • 1922 Alfred C. Schmitt

Historical Timeline[10]

  • 1922: First meeting held in Portland, organized by Alfred C. Schmidt as the Pacific Association of Collegiate Schools of Business and Departments of Economics. The association was originally formed to gather institutions together to discuss challenges and ideas for improvement in academia.
  • 1925: Conference renamed to Pacific Collegiate Economic and Commercial Conference.
  • 1928: Organization renamed to Pacific Coast Economic Association.
  • 1930: First conference held that included individual research papers, thus beginning the format used today.
  • 1933: First bylaws issued establishing individual association memberships.
  • 1942-45: Conferences suspended due to WWII.
  • 1962: Western Economic Journal first issued.
  • 1971: Association name changed to Western Economic Association.
  • 1977: WEJ name changed to Economic Inquiry.
  • 1982: Contemporary Policy Issues first issued.
  • 1994: First Pacific Rim conference held in Hong Kong.
  • 1994: CPI name changed to Contemporary Economic Policy.
  • 2012: Largest annual conference to date with 350 sessions.


  1. WEAI Bylaws, 2009 revision.
  2. Fullbrook, E. (2011), Digital Impact Factors and Rankings of English Economics Journals 2011. Real-World Economics Review Blog. http://www.paecon.net
  3. "Journals Ranked by Impact: Economics". 2011 Journal Citation Reports. Web of Science (Social Sciences ed.). Thomson Reuters. 2012. 
  4. LEIJONHUFVUD, A. (1973), LIFE AMONG THE ECON. Economic Inquiry, 11: 327–337. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-7295.1973.tb01065.x
  5. KRUGMAN, P. (2010), THE THEORY OF INTERSTELLAR TRADE. Economic Inquiry, 48: 1119–1123. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-7295.2009.00225.x
  6. No Revisions Policy, introduced by R. Preston McAfee
  7. Pitsoulis, A. and Schnellenbach, J. (2012), On property rights and incentives in academic publishing. Research Policy, 41: 1440–1447. doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2012.03.005
  8. NAASE Bylaws, Article IV, Section 3.
  9. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/
  10. ALLEN, W. R. (1998), THE PAST LIES BEHIND. Economic Inquiry, 36: 171–173. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-7295.1998.tb01704.x