Secretary's Report (2003)

Econometrica, Vol. 72, No. 1 (January, 2004), 318–326





1. Status of Membership and Circulation

THE FIRST SECTION of this report describes the evolution of the Society’s membership 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 2002 and previous years. For any given year prior to 2003, 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 bottom section of Table I shows that the circulation of Econometrica remained relatively stable in the 1990’s, averaging 6742 for 1990–99 but then dropped to an average of 6265 in 2000–2002, roughly a 7 percent decrease. Of this total circulation decrease of 477 between 1990–99 and 2000–01, about half was accounted for by a decline in regular memberships and roughly half was due to a decline in institutional subscriptions. The remaining decline was spread across the remaining categories.

The figures for June 30, 2003, shown in the last line of the top part of Table I, show a sharp jump in circulation as compared to the June figures for 2001 and 2000. Regular and student memberships are responsible for the jump, while the slow erosion of insti- tutional subscribers has accelerated. During the three years in which the institutional rate was increased markedly, 2001–2003, the annual rate of change was −4.8 percent per year, as compared with −1.1 percent per year in the previous two decades, 1980– 2000.

The comparative full-year 2003 figures for the Econometric Society and the Amer- ican 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 2002 of 0.212 was the highest in the history of the series, indicating that the AEA has experienced a somewhat more rapid decline in membership than the ES. The jump in ES membership in the first six months of 2003 suggests that this ratio will hit another record in 2003. The “E/A” ratio for institutions of 0.485 in 2002 was substantially below the 1999 and 2000 figures but still was above the 0.475 average of the years 1990–99. Thus the slippage of both members and insti- tutions for the ES was slower than that of the AEA during 1990–2000 but more rapid in 2001 and 2002, presumably a reflection of the much faster increase in ES rates for OECD libraries.

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