Economics professor Erzo F.P. Luttmer has been named lead editor of the American Economic Review, the flagship journal of the American Economic Association. He is the first Dartmouth faculty member to lead the distinguished academic publication.
The executive committee of the American Economics Association—the premier scholarly organization dedicated to the discussion and publication of economics research—appointed Luttmer to the role after an extensive search that included input from the association's membership of more than 20,000 professionals and graduate students in higher education, business, and government.
A member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences since 2010, Luttmer serves as the Dartmouth Professor in Economics and teaches a range of courses in economics. His research explores how redistribution and social insurance programs can be improved.
"I congratulate Erzo on taking the helm of one of the most prestigious journals in the field of economics," says John Carey, associate dean of faculty for the social sciences. "This will be a tremendous amount of work but it's also an opportunity to serve a community that spans the globe and to help the field of economics advance the public good. The Dartmouth community and the scholars affiliated with the American Economic Review are fortunate to benefit from Erzo's insights and leadership."
Among his plans in the new role, Luttmer hopes to make the editorial team at the review more diverse.
"It is important that the broad range of interests and research methodologies in the economics profession are well represented in the journal," Luttmer says. "The AER will continue to be a very selective journal for the most innovative and credible economics papers, but I hope to make the team of co-editors and associate editors more diverse so that it better represents the profession."
Luttmer anticipates that greater diversity will lead to enhanced coverage of a broad range of timely economics topics—"including how the minimum wage affects earnings inequality, how overconfidence and motivated beliefs affects the performance of managers, and how the great migration led to increased segregation in Northern cities and reduced opportunities for upward mobility for Black individuals living in those cities," he says.
Based on his own observations, Luttmer views the publication process in economics as largely meritocratic, but believes that the lack of representation among editorial boards "have many people, not unreasonably, worried that it is an insider game. I think having better representation will also help alleviate these valid concerns."
Prior to taking the helm of AER, Luttmer served as the editor of another distinguished economics journal, American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, from 2020 to 2022. Highlights of his tenure there include increasing the diversity of the editorial team and increasing the transparency of the editorial process for authors and potential authors.
Luttmer has received research grants and awards from organizations including the Sloan Foundation, the Social Security Administration, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the National Science Foundation. In 2014 he received the John M. Manley Huntington Award for Newly Promoted Faculty for his valuable contributions to the Dartmouth community as a scholar, teacher, and mentor. He is a dual citizen of the United States and The Netherlands, where he earned his undergraduate and master's degrees.
Founded in 1911, AER publishes on a monthly basis. Luttmer's term as editor began this month and will run until December 2025. He succeeds Esther Duflo, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.