Skip to Main Content


Economic analysis & forecasts, articles, background info (dictionaries & encyclopedias), data & statistics, theses, working papers, writing and citing.

Search Strategy Worksheet

JEL Classification Codes

What is a JEL Code?

The Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) Classification System is a series of codes and terms that are used to classify economic literature by subject (and are similar to Library of Congress Classification Codes and Subject Headings).

  • JEL classification codes are three digits long and consist of a letter followed by two numbers  (e.g., A11).
  • Each JEL classification code also has a classification term (subject heading) that is searchable in the EconLit database. For example:
    • A11 is Role of Economics; Role of Economists

(source: EconLit search hints - subject classification system)

 Looking Up JEL Codes

The best way to look up JEL codes is to use the JEL Classification Codes Guide on the American Economic Association website.You must browse the list by broad category (e.g., D Microeconomics), and then drill down through the subcategories until you find your topic. For each topic (e.g., D62 Externalities)  you will see a guideline, keywords, caveats, and examples.

Finding Journal Articles

You can find academic journal articles (also referred to as peer-reviewed or scholarly journals) on Economics topics by searching in one of these Library Databases:

Additional resources

For topics in applied economics, you may also try searching in a database related to your topic. For example:

  • Economics of Health Care: try Medline via PubMed
  • Economics of Education: try Education Source
  • Public Sector Economics: try ProQuest Politics Collection
  • For other topics, try Omni. It covers a wide variety of topics and sources, but can be overwhelming at times.

Interlibrary Loan/ RACER - articles

Racer logo

What if Brock does not have the article I need?

RACER Interlibrary Loan allows users to search in all Ontario university and worldwide libraries to place requests for items that Brock does not own.

First-time users need to register & create a PIN. More information here.

Search RACER Now

Need help? Watch the RACER Set up and Simple Search video tutorial.