In 2011 a "Top 20 Committee," consisting of Kenneth Arrow, Douglas Bernheim, Martin Feldstein, Daniel McFadden, James M. Poterba, and Robert Solow, selected the following twenty articles to be the most important ones to appear in the journal:
- "A Theory of Production" (1928), by Paul Douglas and Charles Cobb.
- "The Use of Knowledge in Society" (1945), by F. A. Hayek
- "Economic Growth and Income Inequality" (1955), by Simon Kuznets.
- "The Cost of Capital, Corporation Finance and the Theory of Investment" (1958), by Franco Modigliani and Merton Miller.
- "A Theory of Optimum Currency Areas" (1961), by Robert Mundell.
- "Uncertainty and the Welfare Economics of Medical Care" (1963), by Kenneth Arrow.
- "Capital Theory and Investment Behavior" (1963), by Dale W. Jorgenson
- "National Debt in a Neoclassical Growth Model" (1965), by Peter A. Diamond.
- "The Role of Monetary Policy" (1968), by Milton Friedman.
- "Migration, Unemployment and Development: A Two-Sector Analysis" (1970), by John R. Harris and Michael Todaro.
- "Optimal Taxation and Public Production I: Production Efficiency" and "Optimal Taxation and Public Production II: Tax Rules" (1971), by Peter A. Diamond and James Mirrlees.
- "Production, Information Costs, and Economic Organization" (1972), by Armen Alchian and Harold Demsetz.
- "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs" (1973), by Robert Lucas, Jr.
- "The Economic Theory of Agency: The Principal’s Problem" (1973), by Stephen A. Ross.
- "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society" (1974), by Anne Osborn Krueger
- "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity" (1977), by Avinash Dixit and Joseph Stiglitz.
- "An Almost Ideal Demand System" (1980), by Angus Deaton and John Muellbauer.
- "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets" (1980), by Sanford J. Grossman and Joseph E. Stiglitz.
- "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade" (1980), by Paul Krugman.
- "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to Be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?" (1981), by Robert J. Shiller.
Thirteen of those authors have received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences.
The journal can be accessed online via JSTOR. In both 2006 and 2007, it was the most widely viewed journal of all the 775 journals in JSTOR.
Other notable papers
Other notable papers from the journal include: