The job market for economists

The dismal economy has claimed yet another victim: jobs for the economists who study it.

…Economics departments are a prime target for cuts — especially since economics professors are costly compared to their counterparts in other departments.

…[plus] Young economists at major universities often have light teaching duties, and they devote most of their time to research as they try to string together the journal publications that they need to make tenure.

That is the Wall Street Journal on the job market for economists. They quote just one graduate student–oddly, a development economist from Yale:

“It’s a pretty simple algorithm we use,” said Yale graduate student Santosh Anagol, who is on the job market this year. “Everybody wants the highest-quality academic job.” Mr. Anagol’s recent research studies the economic role of livestock in rural India. His job-market paper studies how differing levels of information between buyers and sellers affect the market for cows.

The average WSJ reader is right now thinking: “the market for what? The world economy is collapsing, and we’re supposed to be sorry for the Indian cow researchers?”

Don’t worry Santosh–this blog’s readers will like you. You can find Santosh’s papers here. Think Akerlof’s “market for lemons” applied to, well, you know.