The CFR is an academic finance journal. As such, it will generally accept the same types of paper that journals like the Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Review of Financial Studies, and other journals would potentially accept. If you do not know what this means, your paper is intrinsically not fit for publication in the CFR. Don't waste your own and the CFR's time. Trust me.


Publishing the same types of paper does not mean that the CFR does not have some specializations.

The CFR differs in that it prefers controversial, unusual, and critical papers. It can take chances. The types of paper that maximize the distance between the CFR and the other journals are

  • papers that point out that previous papers and/or literatures are wrong (critiques);
  • papers that are considered correct but obvious by half of the profession and obviously incorrect by the other half.
This also means that the CFR's focus is relatively more tilted towards empirical papers..

More Likely Less Likely Impossible
  • Empirical Research.
  • General Insights.
  • Critique of existing research (see critiques).
  • Extensions (short replication updates of important prior papers, see below).
  • Significantly better measures of important quantities (beta, volatility, discounts, sentiment)
  • Research specific to countries outside the U.S.
  • Theoretical Research (except very generic insights).
  • Development-economics style papers (due to difficulty of replication).
  • Research that cannot be reproduced and replicated, e.g., research with proprietary data sets that are not shared.

The CFR will publish papers in the ``less likely'' category, but the acceptance hurdle is higher.


The CFR now also publishes short (5-10 page) papers that take 10-20 year old papers and simply update them with more recent data if the update shows that the effect has seriously weakened or disappeared. In some cases, it is enough to show that the effect is no longer there after the original sample has closed, but it is definitely interesting if the overall (old and new sample) effect is no longer present when including the update. (The reason why it is not as interesting to show the disappearance in the later sample is typically lack of power in a shorter followup sample.)

Presumably, this kind of paper is not offensive to the original authors. After all, the original authors could not have had access to ex-study data. They did nothing wrong. It's just that it is common in finance and economics for findings to vanish (e.g., McLean and Pontiff [2016]).

This always means a standard approach. First, replicate the original paper. Second, extend the sample. The ideal paper length is about 10 pages. The paper's title should reflect the finding, e.g., The Welch (2004) Association between Stock Returns and Capital Structure Is Obsolete.

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