He is the editor of the Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Once a paper is allocated the assigned editor typically reads the paper within 1 day and decides whether to send the paper out to referees or to “desk reject” it. Since we receive over 1,400 submissions and only publish around 40 to 44 papers a year, we need to be tough in the initial screening and only send a paper out to referees if it has great promise to be a significant contribution. This past year we desk rejected 62 percent of the new submissions (which still means that over 500 were sent to referees). I am the “softy” among QJE editors desk rejecting “only” 47 percent of new submissions vs. 70 percent by my co-editors. I also try to provide authors with some brief feedback on their papers and the rationale for the decision even in the case of desk rejections.