Referee Report

(due Thursday May 14)

Carl Walsh (1995), "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review 85: pp. 150-67.

One common (and disliked--at least by those who have to do it) form of writing that professional Ph.D. economists do is the referee report: a 400 to 1000 word review of an article intended to tell the editor of a journal whether he or she should (a) accept the paper for publication, and (b) if he or she accepts the paper, what revisions he or she should demand before publication.

Referee reports usually try to sketch the place of the paper within the broader literature and outline the argument of the paper. They spend most of their effort noting places where the argument is less than fully convincing, and assessing the extensions or qualifications to the previous literature found in the author's contribution.

Write a relatively long referee report--600 to 1000 words--on Carl Walsh's "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers." If you had been one of the two or three people selected to advise the American Economic Review's editors and co-editors on "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," would you have recommended that they publish this article? Why or why not? If you would have recommended publication, what revisions would you have insisted upon before publication?

(Carl Walsh has stated that he would rather not know how many of you would have rejected his article.)