The American Economic Association, the world's largest association of economists, on Thursday beefed up disclosure guidelines on the potential conflicts of interest of authors who publish work in the group's journals.

The new guidelines come a year after about 300 economists, including former White House economic adviser Christina Romer and Nobel Prize winner George Akerlof, signed a letter urging the AEA to adopt an ethics code.

The letter cited a study of 19 financial economists that found the vast majority did not reveal their private affiliations when writing academic papers on financial regulatory reform or opinion pieces in newspapers.

The AEA said its executive committee had set ethics guidelines requiring that every article submitted to AEA publications should state the sources of financial support for research, and each author should identify any interested party from whom he or she has received financial consultant fees, retainers or grants of at least $10,000 in the past three years.

The disclosure requirement applies to close relatives or partner of any author and also covers in-kind support, such as access to data, the AEA said in a statement at its annual meeting in Chicago.

Authors are required to disclose any paid or unpaid positions as officer, director, or board member of non-profit advocacy organizations or profit-making entities with policy positions or financial interests related to the published article, said the association.

Information on relevant potential conflicts of interest will be made available to the public when articles are published, the AEA said.

The association urges its more than 17,000 members to apply the ethics rules to scholarly journals, op-ed pieces, columns, radio and television commentaries, and testimony before federal and state legislative committees and agencies, it said.

The AEA publishes the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Economic Perspectives, and the American Economic Journals: Applied Economics, Economic Policy, Macroeconomics, and Microeconomics.

(Reporting By Paul Eckert; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)