Economics Job Market: ASSA Meeting 2013

Economics Job Market: ASSA Meeting 2013


It is that time of year again!

We are currently sitting a month and a half out from one of, if not the largest economics conferences. The AEA/ASSA Annual Meeting 2013 is taking place from January 4-6, 2013 in San Diego, California with over 10,000 academics to gather, present, discuss, and socialize over the weekend.

This meeting marks an important point in the lives of the hundreds of graduating PhD students in the field of economics. It is where they are likely to meet their future employers in the form of first round interviews for academic positions at many North American and international institutions. Starting today, Job Market Signalling is open on the AEA website and will remain open until November 29 for PhD graduates hoping to meet with top choice employers at ASSA.

This momentous occasion is something that aspiring academic economists need to prepare for. Noah Smith over at Noahpinion has a great post on how he tackled the ‘Job Market’ last year, landing him a position as an Assistant Professor at Stony Brook University this year. Alternatively, there is extensive guide from 2003 written by John Cawley outlining what can be expected during all stages (there are three!) and where best to position yourself. To see where you fit in the global market, you can also read through the INOMICS Job Market Report 2012, which outlines preferences and trends from the perspectives of both economists and employers.

One point to be taken out of these guides is that timing and organization are everything. There are far fewer academic positions available than people who want them, making the experience a competitive one. If you haven’t started your preparation and you intend on having a job next year, you might consider getting a move on or looking at alternatives to the traditional Job Market path.

There are countless alternatives to taking up an immediate position as a full time lecturer or professor at a university. A couple of options include: taking a postdoctoral research position, gaining practical experience at research institutes, think tanks, banks, or private companies, or consider a visiting professorship or lectureship abroad.

We would love to read about more first hand examples of economics Job Market experiences from both US domestics (those who completed or are completing their PhD at North American university) and internationals (those who completed or are completing their degrees at a university outside of North America). We are very interested in stories that follow the status quo as well as those who ‘took the road less travelled’ in their quest for post-PhD employment.

Photo Credit: Joe Shlabotnik