Secretary's Report (2001)

Econometrica, Vol. 70, No. 1 (January, 2002)


Lausanne, Switzerland August 25, 2001


1. Status of Membership and Circulation

The first section of this report describes the evolution of the Society’s member- ship and of the number of institutional subscribers. Information is provided on members and subscribers on both a mid-year and end-of-year basis. In each case, circulation is “real,” tied to actual banked receipts of dues and subscription revenue.

The latest information available, as of June 30 of the current year and of previous years, is provided in the top half of Table I. The bottom half of Table I reports the final number of paid-up members and subscribers as of the end of 2000 and previous years. For any given year prior to 2001, the figures in the bottom half of Table I are larger than in the top half, reflecting those memberships and subscriptions for a given year that are initiated between the middle of that calendar year and the middle of the following calendar year. Averaging out year-to-year fluctuations, the circulation of Econometrica remained rela- tively stable in the 1990’s. The full-year figures in the bottom half of Table I show that the average total circulation of Econometrica in 1996–2000 was just 2.5 percent lower than the average for 1991–95. There was some change within the different categories of circula- tion. Again comparing 1996–2000 with 1991–95, both institutional circulation and regular membership (including soft currency, free, and life) were 3.8 percent lower, and student

membership 10 percent higher as the result of a temporary two-year bulge in 1995–96.

The figures for June 30, 2001, shown in the last line of the top part of Table I, show the continuation of a substantial three-year decline that has caused regular membership to drop from 2,900 to 2,456, a decline of 15 percent. The mid-year 2001 measure of total circulation is down by 4.4 percent compared to the 2000 mid-year number and down by

8.2 percent compared to the average of the 1996–2000 mid-year figures. Most of this decline has occurred in the regular membership category. It is somewhat puzzling that all of the decline between mid-year 2000 and mid-year 2001 came in the low-priced non- OECD library and membership categories, as well as in student memberships. Over that period, OECD-rate libraries and memberships together increased by 2.4 percent while non-OECD-rate libraries and memberships plus student memberships decreased by 23 percent.

The comparative full-year 2000 figures for the Econometric Society and the American Economic Association are displayed in Table II. (For the membership category these figures include regular, student, free, and life members for both the ES and AEA.) The “E/A” ratio for members in 2000 of 0.197 was identical to the 1991–2000 average, while the ratio for institutions of 0.508 was higher for any year besides 1999. Thus the slippage of membership for the ES is no faster than that of the AEA and for institutions the ES decline is slower.

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