Call for Papers

Deadline extended: 15 May 2024

AFEE @ ASSA; San Francisco CA, USA; January 3-5, 2025

AFEE @ ICAPE; San Francisco CA, USA; January 5-6, 2025


Markets, Industries and Firms in Transition to Sustainability:

How can institutional economics contribute?


The world faces substantial sustainability challenges. Climate change and environmental degradation including substantial biodiversity reduction, are impacting individuals, communities, countries and the world as whole. How to address these challenges, as the world population grows, in a way that is justified and does not entrench or further increase current inequalities?

Economies, industries and business need to transition to address the challenges. The agrifood industry is perhaps prime among sectors that now aggravates the challenges (e.g., Crippa et al 2021), undergoes the negative consequences already (e.g., Mahaut et al. 2022), yet is quintessential in solving them (Zurek et al. 2022), and is positioning to try to do so (Wolfert et al 2023). Any transition without a proper role for markets will be devastating in terms of famines and overall hardship (Sen 1981; Ó Grada 2020). Other industries, contributors to the challenges faced, will be and are already being impacted as well. These include energy, construction, transportation.

Institutional economists know that markets, industries and business as going concerns need institutions to function. This is so much so, that it is easy to not notice their role, and mainstream economists in particular are wont to ignore how both formal as well as informal institutions undergird the economy (cf. Commons 1924; Dolfsma 2019). With fundamental transitions, well-established institutions many (all) need to be reconsidered and re-shaped, perhaps even at the same time (e.g. Fischer et al. 2022). Even though obsolete institutions can persist (Negru et al. 2022), a new, differently balanced ‘institutional furniture’ (Veblen [1906] 1961) supporting the transition to sustainability is to be created offering some degree of certainty needed for firms, industries and markets to function. Such an institutional infrastructure may not simply emerge, in time, spontaneously, led by market forces. ‘Institutional entrepreneurs’ of different hues may step in, for instance by forcing firms and governments to change through the courts (e.g., De Graaf & Jans 2015). Yet, much more guidance may be needed for an appropriate institutional furniture to form: what is a role for governments in that process?

From an institutional economics point of view, an area of expertise uniquely positioned to understand the role of institutions and the need for justice, the following questions can potentially be addressed:

  • What new institutions are needed for markets, industries and firms to transition?
  • How can institutional change be shaped and expedited to arrive at a (much) more sustainable situation for society?
  • How can a transition towards sustainability be equitable and just?
    • How are certain countries, industries, social groups such as laborers (negatively) affected, and what can be done to address that?
  • How are particular industries (markets) such as agrifood positioned for a transition?
  • What obsolete institutions are holding transition back?
  • How is the macro economy impacted; how can macroeconomic analysis and insights assist?
  • Does individual provisioning of households change: if so, how?

The focus this year is thus on the transition our economy and its firms and industries need to make, and how institutional economics can contribute to doing so while creating justice.

Submissions on different topics that utilize the methods and approach of institutional economics are also welcome.



The AFEE sessions at ASSA (10) as well as the AFEE sessions at ICAPE (4) are equally important.  ICAPE ( the International Confederation of Associations for Pluralism in Economics) is a confederate association of which AFEE is a founding member; it is in pursuit of pluralism in economics. Submission of a paper or panel proposal implies agreeing with inclusion in either the AFEE @ ASSA or the AFEE @ ICAPE programme.

The objective when putting together both programmes is to have high quality and coherent sessions and overall programmes that showcase diversity and offer insights that AFEE members and members of adjacent association will appreciate highly.

Papers presented at the AFEE @ ASSA as well as the AFEE @ ICAPE sessions will both be eligible for publication in the June issue of the JEI (2025). AFEE @ ICAPE sessions must be approved by the Committee on Regional and International Conferences (CORIC).


Submission Requirements and Procedures:

The submission deadline is 1 May 2024; late submissions will not be considered. Acceptance or rejection notices will be issued by early June.

Membership requirement:
At least one of the authors of any paper, as well as each contributor to a panel must be a current AFEE member. You can check and renew your membership by logging into your account, join AFEE, or contact Eric Hake (AFEE Secretary-Treasurer, or Teresa Rowell (AFEE Coordinator,  Conference registration and hotel information can be found at

Please submit your individual proposals or panel proposals by email to

AFEE@ASSA sessions do not feature discussants – session participants and the session chair contribute to a lively discussion benefitting all participants to the session.

A proposal for presentation of a paper or for presentation in a panel must include the following:

  • Names & full contact details of Corresponding Author.
  • Name & full contact details of Presenting Author.
  • Listing of all authors of the paper, including affiliation and email addresses.
  • Title of the paper.
  • Abstract (max. 250 words).
  • 2 JEL codes.
  • 3 keywords.

If you are proposing a panel (max. 5 contributors), please ensure that the required information about each individual contributor on the panel is submitted, and that the contributor includes with the submission the title of the panel and the panel organizer’s name. A proposed panel with fewer than 5 papers / contributors can see their proposed panel complemented with additional contributions.


June JEI:
Papers presented at the AFEE meetings as well as in AFEE sessions at the ICAPE conference immediately subsequent to the ASSE meeting, both in San Francisco, are eligible for consideration for publication in the June issue of the JEI. To be considered for publication:

  • Text of your paper cannot exceed 3,000 words.
  • No more than four pages (total) of double-spaced endnotes, references, tables, and figures.
  • Full paper submission deadline:  December 15, 2024.
  • Submit as email attachment to William Waller, Editor of the JEI:


We look forward to your submissions!

Wilfred Dolfsma
Professor and Chairholder, Wageningen University
AFEE president-elect 2024.
Questions or concerns? Email me: