Previous studies about the academic publishing process consider the publication delay as starting from the submission to the publishing journal. This ignores the potential delay caused by rejections received from previous journals. Knowing how many times papers are submitted prior to publication is essential for evaluating the importance of different publication delays and the refereeing process cost, and can improve our decisions about if and how the review process should be altered, decisions that affect the productivity of economists and other scholars. Using numerical analysis and evidence on acceptance rates of various journals, estimates that most manuscripts are submitted between three and six times prior to publication. This implies that the first response time (the time between submission and first editorial decision) is much more important than other parts of the publication delay, suggesting important policy implications for editors and referees.
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