Understanding the job market

Most graduating PhDs seeking jobs in academia, government, or industry will participate in the job market for economists and will interview for positions at the ASSA Annual Meeting in early January.  

The job market process

The AEA provides a guide to the job market process created by John Cawley. It details the following:

  • Preparing to Go on the Job Market
  • Applying for Academic Jobs
  • Signaling
  • Interviewing at the ASSA Meetings
  • Campus Visits
    • Interviews
    • Job Talk
    • Dinner with Faculty
  • The Secondary Market “Scramble”
  • Offers and Negotiating
  • Special Topics
    • Diversity
    • Dual Job Searches (Spouses) 

The American Economic Association provides the JOE Network for employers and job-seekers who are participating in the process each year.

Further reading

Auerbach, Alan J., Francine D. Blau, and John B. Shoven. 2004. "The Labor Market for New Ph.D. Economists: Panel Discussion." American Economic Review, 94 (2), pp. 286-290.

Coles, Peter, John Cawley, Phillip B. Levine, Muriel Niederle, Alvin E. Roth, and John J. Siegfried (2010) "The Job Market for New Economists: a Market Design Perspective" Journal of Economic Perspectives 24(4) (Fall): 187-206.

Ehrenberg, Ronald G. 2004. "Prospects in the Academic Labor Market for Economists." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 18 (2), pp. 227-238.

Jihui, Chen, Qihong Liu, and Sherrilyn Billger. 2012. “Where Do New Ph.D. Economists Go? Evidence from Recent Initial Job Placements.” Journal of Labor Research, 34, pp. 312-338.

Krueger, Anne O. 1999. "Implications of the Labor Market for Graduate Education in Economics." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 13 (3), pp. 153-156.

Smeets, Valerie, Frederic Warzynski, and Tom Coupe. 2006. "Does the Academic Labor Market Initially Allocate New Graduates Efficiently?" Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20(3), pp. 161-172.

Current salary information

There are several sources of current salary and job market information for economists: