AEA Guidance on Timeline for 2022-23 Economics Job Cycle
July 1, 2022
To: Members of the American Economic Association and Economics Department Chairs
From: Peter L. Rousseau, Secretary-Treasurer
Subject: AEA Guidance on Timeline for 2022-23 Economics Job Cycle
The AEA Executive Committee, in conjunction with its Committee on the Job Market, recognizes that it is to the benefit of the profession if the job market for economists is thick, with many employers and job candidates participating in the same stages at the same time. Moreover, the AEA's goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion are fostered by having a timeline that remains widely known and accepted, ensuring that candidates can correctly anticipate when each stage will occur. With these goals in mind, and in light of inquiries from both students and departments about how to proceed, the AEA asks that departments and other employers consider the following timeline for initial interviews and “flyouts” in the upcoming job cycle (2022-23).
The AEA suggests that employers wait to extend interview invitations until the day after job market signals are transmitted to employers.
Rationale: the AEA created the signaling mechanism to reduce the problem of asymmetric information and allow job candidates to credibly signal their interest to two employers. The AEA asks that employers wait to extend interview invitations until those signals have been transmitted, and to use that information to finalize their set of candidates to interview. This helps the job market in several ways: it reduces the problem of imperfect information, it helps ensure a thick market at each stage, and it promotes the AEA’s goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Job candidates from historically under-represented groups may lack informal networks and thus may especially rely on the signals to convey their interest. Waiting to review the signals before issuing invitations promotes a fairer, more equitable process.
We also ask that all employers indicate on EconTrack when they have extended interview invitations; this allows candidates to learn about the status of searches without visiting websites posting crowd-sourced information and potentially inappropriate other content.
The AEA recommends that employers conduct initial interviews starting on Monday, January 2, 2023, and strongly recommends that all interviews take place virtually (e.g. by Zoom). We suggest that interviews not take place during the AEA meeting itself (January 6-8, 2023).
Rationale: In the past, interviews were conducted in person at the AEA/ASSA meetings. This promoted thickness of the market, because most candidates and employers were present at the in-person meetings, but had the disadvantage of precluding both job candidates and interviewers from fully participating in AEA/ASSA sessions.
Interviews should now be conducted virtually to prevent risk of exposure to COVID, and to promote equity among the candidates. Informal feedback to the AEA committee on the job market indicated that the benefits of virtual first-round interviews (e.g. low monetary cost, zero cost in travel time, convenience) outweighed the limitations (e.g. less rich interaction).
We recommend that employers wait until January 2 to interview candidates because job candidates may have teaching or TA responsibilities in December. Moreover, having a clear start date for interviews will help candidates to have accurate expectations of the timing of the stages of the market. An unraveling of the market works against the AEA’s goal of having a thick market at each stage and also works against candidates having uniform expectations of the timing of each stage of the market.
We ask that interviews NOT take place during the AEA/ASSA meetings (January 6-8, 2023) in order to allow job candidates and interviewers to participate in the conference.
Flyouts and offers
Flyouts and offers have historically happened at times appropriate for the employer, and the AEA sees no reason to suggest otherwise. We ask that all employers indicate on EconTrack when they have extended flyout invitations and closed their searches. Unlike with interviews, the AEA does not take a position on whether flyouts should be virtual or in-person.
Job market institutions and mechanisms
Please keep in mind the various job market institutions and mechanisms created by the AEA to improve the job market:
The JOE Network includes a database of job openings for economists.
Employers may sign up here: https://www.aeaweb.org/joe/employer.
Job candidates may search the database here: https://www.aeaweb.org/joe/listings.
The JOE Network has an electronic clearinghouse for job candidates to submit job applications. Job candidates may register here: https://www.aeaweb.org/joe/candidate.
The AEA Committee on the Job Market releases data and guidance on the job market here: https://www.aeaweb.org/joe/communications.
EconTrack: a board on which employers can indicate when they have extended interview and flyout invitations, and closed their search: https://www.aeaweb.org/econtrack.
Thank you for helping to ensure a transparent and equitable job market for new Ph.D. economists.