Consistently Strong: Job Placement Remains Highly Successful

By Julie Cullen, Ph.D.

Julie Cullen, Ph.D.

This year continued the recent pattern of an unusually large group of our graduate students on the job market. There were 17 candidates seeking positions as economists. After weathering a bumpy market, nearly all have found matches.

The friction in the market this year seemed to arise from nearly universal restrictions on institutions’ ability to over-offer. This resulted in long delays between successful visits and offers, followed by offers with extremely short fuses. By the time institutions pursued and lost their first choices, they often found that their second and third choices were no longer available. This mismatching generated several disjointed market rounds, with yet another still ongoing. This year required reserves of patience and resourcefulness from the students and their advisers in the face of extended slow periods punctuated with spikes of activity. The good news is that all the hard work leading up to this phase — and during the market — paid off with another year of excellent outcomes.

One-third of the students chose academic positions at leading national or international institutions:

This set includes students from the entire array of fields. Game theorist Aislinn Bohren had broad success on the market and ultimately decided to join the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. Newly engaged Leah Nelson and Aeimit Lakdawala landed positions at Michigan State University in their respective fields of development and macroeconomics. International economist Kristy Buzard found a great match with a position at Syracuse University. One of our two environmental economists Kevin Novan will be joining the agricultural and resource economics department at UC Davis. The other, Anthony Liu, will be moving to one of the premier business schools in China, Cheung Kong, while maintaining a position as a research fellow at Resources for the Future.

Two-thirds of the students will be starting their careers as researchers in first-rate government, nonprofit or private sector institutions:

Government opportunities in both the United States and abroad attracted several of our macroeconomists and international economists. Macroeconomists Ben Kay and Tom Daula will both be in D.C. at the Treasury’s Office of Financial Research and the Federal Housing Finance Association respectively. Macroeconomist Soojin Jo is heading north to the Bank of Canada, while international economist Martin Tobal is heading south to join the regional association of central banks, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos. Applied microeconomist Michael Futch will have an exciting year: He will be working on President Obama’s campaign.

Several of our other applied microeconomics candidates were recruited to positions in nonprofit and private sector organizations with agendas that dovetail with their research interests. Ben Backes, a labor economist specializing in higher education, joined American Institutes for Research. Sam Dastrup, a real estate and urban economics expert, is joining Abt Associates. Innovation and technology expert Kirti Gupta will be in-house economist at Qualcomm Inc., while financial economist Shalini Nageswaran will be joining Analysis Group.

Congratulations to the graduate students and the faculty who supported them in these successful job market outcomes! Thank you for all the hard work that furthers the department’s continuing reputation for producing top-notch economists.