Interviewer "fixed effects"

 It's vary common to try to evaluate how interviews went in an attempt to figure out how good your chances are of moving on to the next stage. It seems to be a common topic of conversation among candidates. And when I was on the market, my advisors asked me to tell them a lot of details about each interview so they could figure out where I had the best chances.  In my view, this is a fool's errand. Here's why: Most of the differences you perceive between interviews are interviewer "fixed effects" that are constant across interviews they perform. That one interviewer who seemed very suspicious of your identification strategy and interrogated you extensively about it probably interrogated a lot of candidates they interviewed about what she thought were the weakest points in each paper. For all you know, she was very happy with how you answered her and has you at the top of the list. That other interviewer who was very positive and upbeat about everything was probabl

The market in the time of COVID (mostly Zoom/Skype interviews)

 I wrote most of the posts prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. I think a lot of of it holds up, and which parts that don't (e.g. winter clothes at the AEA) are obvious. I am writing this post as an update prior to the 2021-22 market, which looks like it will be partially affected by COVID. The biggest difference candidates need to get ready for is probably the proliferation of virtual interviews instead of first round AEA interviews. These were becoming more and more common even prior to the pandemic, and there seems to be talk of them continuing in the future. So job market candidates should certainly prepare for them. My thoughts about how to do so are below. 1. Practice specifically for virtual interviews. During my pre-pandemic market, I had 3 or 4 virtual interviews. All of my practice interviews were face-to-face, and that made me a lot less prepared for virtual interviews than I thought I was. My worst interviews were the first couple virtual interviews, and I don't believe

Job market paper pitch

In this post I will talk about the job market paper pitch. Like the rest of the blog, the purpose is to complement the major job market guides (Cawley is the gold standard), with some focus on what I think is undercovered. In particular, I have experience on both sides of the market at schools that are not highly ranked, and that seems to be a gap in the job market guide market. Plan and practice It is important that you plan your job market paper pitch carefully before the market. You will need to use it a lot, and without a good one, you are dead on arrival. Plan it out carefully and practice it with colleagues and hopefully your advisors. At the same time, be careful about sounding overly rehearsed. You want a more conversational tone. The best rehearsals are with a faculty member or another grad student who interrupts you with questions. That is what is going to happen in an interview. One piece of advice that worked for me is that I tried not to use the same language each ti

Non-academic market

The non-academic market, both government and industry, is a major source of jobs for candidates. Unfortunately, I don't know a lot about it, and I don't want to give advice I am not confident with. So I am making this post, and hoping that people who do will pass on tips in the comments section.

Myths from EJMR

Because I chose to do this blog anonymously, there is a natural connection with the Economics Job Market Rumors board. That is inherently controversial, since the board has been criticized for having a lot of sexist and offensive content. There are advantages of anonymity, which allows posters to be candid and share more information, but there are also disadvantages. That is one of the reasons I decided to host this on a blog where I can moderate the comments. I will do my best to make sure that the comments do not contain any questionable content. I know that there are those who believe the EJMR board should be avoided altogether, so in the interest of full disclosure, I should say that I have posted links to this blog on EJMR. It seemed the best place to get the word out. One other downside of the EJMR board is that there are a group of jokers who spend a lot of time trying to convince candidates of falsehoods. One request I have received is to make a post dispelling these myths.

The "senior" market

Many job market candidates have been out of grad school for a few years, and are looking to move to a new position. Some are looking for a better fit, others have failed tenure or are worried they will. The market functions very similarly, but there are a few wrinkles that prospective movers should keep in mind. I don't have a ton of experience in this area, so anyone who wants to add anything in the comments would be appreciated. The scrutiny of you will not be based as much on one paper, but will be about your entire record. The flyout talk can be more like a standard seminar talk. You can certainly present coauthored work, and it can be a little more of a work in progress than a job market paper (although probably not quite as much as a normal seminar). At a more teaching oriented job, your teaching record may be scrutinized in more detail too. Syllabi, assignments, evaluations, etc. The general rule is that, as a non-entry level faculty member, a school will look at you if

Where to apply

As the job market gets going, there will be well over a thousand listings on the various job boards. The basic rule is that you should apply broadly. That is definitely true. The marginal cost of applying to an additional job is low, and if it ends up being the job you end up with, the benefit is massive. But there are a few pieces of specific advice. Top censoring If you are not a star candidate, which most candidates aren't, there will be a decent number of listings where your chances are close to nil. You should ask your advisor how he or she feels about whether or not you should apply to them. Advisors sometimes have strong opinions about top censoring applications. Some are strongly against it, as they feel you aren't taking the market seriously if you aren't applying to the best places. Some are strongly in favor of it, as they want to be able to say to any school you apply to that they are confident you would be a good candidate for that job. So just go with