Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dismal Job Market for the Dismal Science

The dismal economy has claimed yet another victim: jobs for the economists who study it. Economists are facing a grim job market. Here's why:

1. Top universities have seen their endowments shrink and government funding slashed, leaving less cash for jobs.

2. Economics-department budgets are particularly vulnerable to cuts, especially since the professors are costly compared to their counterparts in other departments. The average annual salary schools paid new economist hires was $86,292 for the 2008-09 academic year.

3. Private-sector jobs -- at investment banks and hedge funds -- are drying up, too.

Columbia University's economics department, for example, isn't making any new hires this year. That's in stark contrast to last year, when Columbia poached eight economics professors from other schools, and hired one economist out of graduate school. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Amherst College and the University of Minnesota all have suspended their searches for economics professors. And Harvard University has gotten permission to hire just one person -- only after "many rounds of negotiation," according to Harvard economist Lawrence Katz, who is handling recruiting this year. Typically, Harvard hires two or three economics professors out of graduate school.

~Wall Street Journal

(HT: Division of Labour)


At 2/12/2009 9:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not laughed so hard in months.

At 2/12/2009 9:36 AM, Blogger Joshua Macy said...

So the baseline for comparison is that Columbia ought to be growing its Econ department by 9 faculty positions per year?

At 2/12/2009 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they did a cost/benefit and realized their economic departments failed to predict the the worst economic collapse since the depression. Who needs them?

While universities are licking their financial wounds, economists are hiding behind their desks wondering how they made such bad predictions.

At 2/12/2009 3:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the age of Obama, we don't need economists. We need therapists. Learn to chant.

At 2/12/2009 3:42 PM, Blogger lineup32 said...

like to see them shutdown the entire University business dept's which has produced nothing but the recent wave of clowns running our financial sector, hopefully most will get a chance to spend meaningful time with bubba.

At 2/12/2009 8:22 PM, Blogger lineup32 said...

Another Casualty of the Crisis
Small classes at Harvard econ:

Junior seminars in economics—the only small undergraduate courses taught by the department’s faculty—may become yet another victim of the University-wide strain borne of the financial crisis. With faculty departing and Harvard’s hiring slowdown hindering their replacement, the already stretched department does not have enough faculty members to teach the seminars, according to some department members.

At 2/13/2009 7:38 PM, Blogger bobble said...

" . . the [economics] professors are costly compared to their counterparts in other departments . . ."

this would be a good time to hire massive numbers of economics professors from india. that'll fix the cost problem, pronto!


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