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I just received my membership renewal form from the American Economic Association. I’ve never bothered to look to closely at it, but just noticed that membership fees to the AEA are means-tested! To be a regular member, they ask:

  • Annual income of $47,000 or less →$64

  • Annual income of $47,000 to $62,000 →$77

  • Annual income above $62,000 →$90

I wonder why these are the income cutoffs. I am more intersted in how many economists are honest in completing this form. I am most interested however in knowing whether this is the AEA’s minor attempt to price discriminate (and expand membership) or something else. Any takers?

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