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"Early Career Paths of Economists inside and outside of Academia." Foster, Lucia, Erika McEntarfer, and Danielle H. Sandler. 2023. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 37 (4): 231-50.DOI: 10.1257/jep.37.4.231
The article discusses the career paths of economists, focusing on the early stages both inside and outside academia1. Here's a brief summary of
- Demand for Economists: Over 20 years ago, the job market for economists was noted to be better than other mathematical fields due to strong demand in the public and private sectors2.
- Job Market Trends: Despite an increase in the number of economics PhDs, the job market remains strong. Currently, just over half of PhD economists start their careers in academia, with the rest pursuing a diverse range of careers in technology, consulting, and government3.
- Earnings and Mobility: The article explores the financial outcomes and job stability/mobility of early career economists, revealing growing compensation gaps between academic and private sector jobs.
Influence of PhD Program Rank: The rank of a PhD program plays a significant role in determining early career outcomes, with graduates from higher-ranked programs generally obtaining more interviews and higher initial salary offers4. However, there is significant dispersion in outcomes for graduates of the same program. The article aims to provide insights into these aspects by analyzing a large panel dataset of earnings and employment after completing an economics PhD5.
This section emphasizes the ongoing issues of gender disparities in the economics profession, particularly in terms of employment sectors and earnings. It also discusses the career progression of economists, highlighting the challenges faced by women in the field.