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Cyclicality and the Labor Market for Economists

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  • Craig A. Gallet

    (Department of Economics, California State University at Sacramento)

  • John A. List

    (AREC and Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, University of Maryland; NBER and RFF)

  • Peter F. Orazem

    ()
    (University of Kansas and Department of Economics, Iowa State University)

Abstract

The 1987 academic market was strong, whereas the 1997 market was weak. A multimarket theory of optimal search suggests that job seekers will respond to a weakening market by changing their search strategies at the extensive margin (which markets to enter) and the intensive margin (how many applications to submit per market). Employers respond to the weakening market by raising their hiring standards. High-quality applicants will obtain an increased share of academic interviews in weak markets while applicants from weaker schools will increasingly secure interviews outside of the academic market. Empirical results show that in the bust market, graduates of elite schools shifted their search strategies to include weaker academic institutions, while graduates of lower-ranked schools shifted their applications away from academia and toward the business sector. In bust conditions, academic institutions increasingly concentrate their interviews on elite school graduates, women, and U.S. residents.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Southern Economic Association in its journal Southern Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 72 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 284–304

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Handle: RePEc:sej:ancoec:v:72:2:y:2005:p:284-304

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References

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  1. John J. Siegfried & Wendy A. Stock, 1999. "The Labor Market for New Ph.D. Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 115-134, Summer.
  2. Larry D. Singell & Joe A. Stone, 1993. "Gender Differences In Ph.D. Economists' Careers," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 11(4), pages 95-106, October.
  3. John J. Siegfried, 2010. "Report of the Director: Job Openings for Economists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 696-98, May.
  4. John A. List, 2000. "Interview Scheduling Strategies of New Ph.D. Economists," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(2), pages 191-201, June.
  5. Carson, Richard & Navarro, Peter, 1988. "A Seller's (and Buyer's) Guide to the Job Market for Beginning Academic Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 137-48, Spring.
  6. Shulamit B. Kahn, 1995. "Women in the Economics Profession," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 193-206, Fall.
  7. John Cawley, 2001. "A Guide (and Advice) for Economists on the U. S. Junior Academic Job Market," Labor and Demography, EconWPA 0109001, EconWPA, revised 27 Sep 2001.
  8. Fallick, Bruce Chelimsky, 1992. "Job Security and Job Search in More Than One Labor Market," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(4), pages 742-45, October.
  9. Formby, John P & Gunther, William D & Sakano, Ryoichi, 1993. "Entry Level Salaries of Academic Economists: Does Gender or Age Matter?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(1), pages 128-38, January.
  10. Broder, Ivy E, 1993. "Professional Achievements and Gender Differences among Academic Economists," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(1), pages 116-27, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Jihui Chen & Qihong Liu & Sherrilyn Billger, 2013. "Where Do New Ph.D. Economists Go? Recent Evidence from Initial Labor Market," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 312-338, September.
  2. Boehm, Michael J. & Watzinger, Martin, 2010. "The Allocation of Talent: Evidence from the Market of Economists," MPRA Paper 27463, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Boehm, Michael J. & Watzinger, Martin, 2010. "The Selection of Skills into Sectors: Evidence from the Market for Economists," MPRA Paper 23315, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Price, Gregory N., 2009. "The problem of the 21st century: Economics faculty and the color line," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 331-343, March.

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