Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 312–338 | Cite as

Where Do New Ph.D. Economists Go? Recent Evidence from Initial Labor Market

  • Jihui Chen
  • Qihong Liu
  • Sherrilyn Billger


We collect data on the 2007–2008 Ph.D. economist job market to investigate initial job placement in terms of job location, job type, and job rank. While there is little gender difference in all three dimensions, our results suggest significant source country heterogeneity in placement outcomes. In an analysis linking job location and job type, we find that, among non-U.S. candidates, foreign placements are more likely to be academic relative to U.S. placements. Our analysis contributes to the literature in two aspects: First, compared to existing studies, our sample consists of all job market candidates from 57 top U.S. economics programs and allows us to conduct an analysis more immune to selection bias. Second, with the increasing presence of international students in the U.S. doctoral programs, we examine a new and growing dimension of the labor market – the international perspective of initial job placements for new Ph.D. economists.


Ph.D. labor market Job type Job location Job rank 

JEL Classification

A11 A23 J44 



We thank Leah Brooks, Greg Burge, Jen Graves, John Ham, Cory Koedel, Catherine Mooney, Rati Ram, Adam Rennhoff, and session participants at the 2008 Southern Economic Association Annual Conference and Illinois State University Applied Econometrics Workshop participants for helpful comments and suggestions. We also thank Meredith Willinger, Yoonho Choi, Chris Denly, Hojin Jung, Golaleh Moshrefi, and Collin Phillips for their excellent research assistances, and University of Oklahoma Honors Research Assistant Program for financial support. Finally, we would like to thank placement coordinators and other individuals at various institutions who exchanged correspondences with us during the course of this project. The usual caveat applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsIllinois State UniversityNormalUSA
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA

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