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It's Better Being an Economist (But Don't Tell Anyone)

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  • Richard B. Freeman

Abstract

This paper contrasts the job market in economics with the job market in physics and mathematics, which attract students who are, by conventional measures, smarter than economists and where the base of knowledge is better established than ours. Despite this, economists earn more and have better career prospects than physicists or mathematicians. The paper offers several reasons for our better economic prospects, ranging from lack of glamour attracting bright young people to the dismal science to our inability to solve important problems, which puts us higher up on the marginal product curve for basic research than these fields.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.13.3.139
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 13 (1999)
Issue (Month): 3 (Summer)
Pages: 139-145

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:13:y:1999:i:3:p:139-145

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.13.3.139
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Cited by:
  1. Song, Moohoun & Orazem, Peter F. & Wohlgemuth, Darin, 2008. "The role of mathematical and verbal skills on the returns to graduate and professional education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 664-675, December.

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