The editors feel that your paper is too specific for our readers

An exchange of letters with the editors of a journal that has rejected my paper on “Classical Criticisms of Keynesian Economics”. This is what they wrote to me:

After having carefully evaluated your manuscript, the editors came to the conclusion that your paper is not suitable for publication in our journal. Our rejection need not imply any judgment of the quality of your work. Rather, the editors feel that your paper is too specific for our readers. We think that a specialized journal on the history of economic thought would probably appreciate your contribution the most.

So this is what I wrote to them.

I am, of course, not arguing the toss with you, but I have to say that if you think a paper about how the entire universe of mainstream economists understood the nature of recession and unemployment prior to the Keynesian Revolution is “too specific” for your readers, then your approach is far too narrow. As I said in my covering note, this is not history of economics, it is economics. It is about how to understand why recessions occur, why public spending will never drive an economy into recovery and why our economies right now are not just experiencing slow growth, but are actually enduring a fall in living standards. John Stuart Mill would have been able to tell you. He would even have told you in advance that it would be certain to occur, just as I was able to do in 2008.

I will also say that if you reject a paper because it is “history of economics”, then you are cutting yourselves off from a very important vein of economic discussion. Mainstream journals now routinely do this, although why that is I am not entirely certain about.

I am disappointed in your response, but I cannot say I am exceptionally surprised.

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