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.

7 thoughts on “The job market for economists

  1. Great paper Santosh, except you forgot to account for the fact that cows are not assets – they are god.

  2. For the “average reader”: Ed McMahon and MC Hammer selling off their gold bling is the US version of asset fire sales.

  3. Thank goodness the political science market runs early! Most of my cohort managed to get jobs before the universities pulled the plugs on the searches, but I’ve gotten cancelled search letters for about 1/3 of the 50 jobs for which I applied.

  4. i agree that job mkt for economists is bad but hope it is still better than the same for the people without d and r before thier name.