11 Feb 2009

Economists in Shortage

Apparently, the economists are already suffering from the slowdown. I got this in an email from the American Economics Association:
December JEL Journal Shortage. Because of an unexpected paper shortage during the press run, we have only a few copies of the December 2008 JEL beyond those sent to subscribers and members. We normally reserve a thousand per issue to replace undelivered copies. If you receive a print copy of the JEL, and plan to discard it, please mail the journal to back AEA, and we will return it to inventory storage to be used in for claims for lost issues or back orders.
Notice the two things that are strange here:
  1. They are not offering to reimburse members for sending the journal back. That's because most AEA members get "free" postage from their departments.
  2. They are not planning to raise the price of this suddenly scarce issue to cut back on demand. Instead, they keep an extra 1,000 copies around to make sure that there's always enough to meet demand at the standard price. That's strange, because the AEA must run out of back issues at SOME time for a given issue -- or they always have left-overs, which means that they are wasting resources on unsold inventory.
Bottom Line: The AEA, like other professional societies, runs more like a bureaucracy than a business.

1 comment:

  1. Another thing ... they figure a bunch of AEA members throw out the JEL!


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