Full disclosure: I have never been asked to provide referee services!
As I understand it, when one submits a paper for journal publication, the editor gets someone affiliated with the journal (the referee) who ideally has some expertise in the area to read it and determine whether it is of sufficient quality to publish.
I have no idea why the name and academic institution of the author is attached to the paper. Okay, sure, the internet would probably allow one to track down the author with a minimal amount of work in many cases, but I have to wonder if what got published would change at all (significantly?) were reviewers denied access to the reputation of the author.
I'd love to see an couple of controlled experiments here, but they might be difficult to arrange, and one could potentially end up with a lot of angry economists.
POSTSCRIPT: Payroll numbers. They're decent, but I suspect that some of the average wage gains are coming as lower-paid members of the profession are being kicked to the curb. Check out the utilities industry, for example.
Oh, and January's GDP numbers, which I mentioned yesterday.