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Where are they Now? Tracking the Ph.D. Class of 1997


  • Wendy A. Stock

    () (Department of Economics and Agricultural Economics, Montana State University)

  • John J. Siegfried

    () (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University and AEA)


We report early career outcomes of economics Ph.D.s by tracking the U.S. class of 1996-97. We examine employment outcomes, work activities, salaries, and graduates' attitudes toward their jobs. By 2003, all of the respondents were employed, although almost half changed employers during the six years. Salaries of the cohort increased at an average annual rate of 8.2 percent from 1997 through 2003. Academic-year salaries rose about 5.7 percent per year, while private sector salaries skyrocketed at 15 percent per year. Finally, the median salaries of first-year full-time permanent 9-10 month academic economists hired in 2002-03 actually exceed the 2003 salaries of their counterparts initially hired in 1997-98. Some of this apparent salary inversion reflects a different mix of employers and departments between the two cohorts, with the younger group securing relatively more jobs at higher paying institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Wendy A. Stock & John J. Siegfried, 2006. "Where are they Now? Tracking the Ph.D. Class of 1997," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0605, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0605

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sharon M. Oster & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1998. "Aging And Productivity Among Economists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 154-156, February.
    2. Brown, Byron W. & Woodbury, Stephen A., 1998. "Seniority, external labor markets, and faculty pay," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 771-798.
    3. Paul W. Grimes & Meghan J. Millea & Kevin E. Rogers, 2004. "Regional Mobility of Economists: An Extension," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(1), pages 127-138, January.
    4. Bernt Bratsberg & James F. Ragan Jr. & John T. Warren, 2003. "Negative Returns to Seniority: New Evidence in Academic Markets," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(2), pages 306-323, January.
    5. Mincer, Jacob, 1978. "Family Migration Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 749-773, October.
    6. Pantelis Kalaitzidakis & Theofanis P. Mamuneas & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions in Economics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1346-1366, December.
    7. Buchmueller, Thomas C. & Dominitz, Jeff & Lee Hansen, W., 1999. "Graduate training and the early career productivity of Ph.D. economists," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 65-77, February.
    8. Donna K. Ginther & Shulamit Kahn, 2004. "Women in Economics: Moving Up or Falling Off the Academic Career Ladder?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 193-214, Summer.
    9. Hansen, W Lee & Weisbrod, Burton A & Strauss, Robert P, 1978. "Modeling the Earnings and Research Productivity of Academic Economists," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 729-741, August.
    10. Moore, William J & Newman, Robert J & Turnbull, Geoffrey K, 1998. "Do Academic Salaries Decline with Seniority?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 352-366, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jörg Heining & Jürgen Jerger & Jörg Lingens, 2008. "Deutsche Hochschulkarrieren im Fach Volkswirtschaftslehre. Eine deskriptive Analyse von Lebenslaufdaten," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 9(3), pages 306-328, August.
    2. John P. Conley & Mario J. Crucini & Robert A. Driskill & Ali Sina Onder, 2011. "Incentives and the Effects of Publication Lags on Life Cycle Research Productivity in Economics," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 1122, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    3. Christiana Hilmer & Michael Hilmer, 2010. "Do Public Ph.D.-Granting Economics Departments Invert Salaries?," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 30(2), pages 924-932.

    More about this item


    Economists; employment; salaries;

    JEL classification:

    • A11 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Role of Economics; Role of Economists
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • J40 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - General
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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