The Southern Economic Association is one of the oldest economics associations in the United States, dating back to a conference held in Atlanta in November 1928. The Southern Economic Journal began publication in 1933 and is the eighth oldest American scholarly journal in economics. From its founding, the purpose of the Southern Economic Association has been to further the education of scholars and the public in economic affairs. Toward this end, it seeks to stimulate interest in and disseminate results of recent research in theory and applied economics.
The membership of the Southern Economic Association includes a diverse set of scholars, with a great range in their substantive interests and in their methods of inquiry. The annual conference and the Journal welcome submissions from all fields of economic research and from economists around the world.
One frequently-asked question is: What is Southern about the Southern Economic Association? Certainly, the annual conference is always held in a Southern location. Most of the editors of the Journal work at Southern institutions. Early conferences and Journal volumes featured many articles about the economic problems of the South. Models of convergence in economic growth are a recent development in economic analysis, but Southerners have lived through tremendous convergence since the Association’s founding. Thus, the South is fortunate to have lost much of its uniqueness. The founders of the Association would have been delighted by that. To quote from a history of the organization written in 1940 by Walter Matherly, its first president, “While it is regional in its membership, its interests as well as its annual programs extend beyond the region which it serves and encompass the nation.”
Since its modest origins in the early 20th century, the Southern Economic Association has grown into a truly global professional organization today. Membership and participation in its annual conference regularly attracts thousands of economists from more than 94 nations to share their interests in economic scholarship.