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Introduction

This document serves two purposes. First, it describes the U. S. academic job market for new

Ph.D. economists; specifically: deadlines, what salaries and benefits have recently been offered,

and what a job candidate should expect at different stages of the hiring process. Second, it offers

advice on conducting an academic job search.

In offering advice, this document takes as given many of the most important factors that drive

hiring decisions: the quality of your research, your graduate training, and the recommendations

of your advisors. For this reason, following the advice in this guide cannot guarantee you a job.

The advice herein focuses on presentation and etiquette, which at the margin may influence the

hiring decision. I hope that you will find this guide helpful, but every job market search is

different and the experiences reflected here may not match your own.

Most of this guide is outlined according to the chronology of a job search. The remainder is

devoted to issues of diversity, dual job searches, and a brief summary.

The timing with which you will pass through stages of the job market depends on the market

segments in which you participate. Carson and Navarro (1988) define three segments of the

academic job market for new economists:

1. The pre-emptive market: conducted at an accelerated pace by departments seeking to

interview prior to the Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) meetings the candidates

they identify as a close match. Typically only a few candidates and highly-ranked

departments participate in this market. Informal recommendation and scouting play a

greater role in candidate selection in the pre-emptive market than in the two subsequent

market segments.

2. The primary market: the largest of the three segments. Initial interviews take place at the

ASSA meetings in early January.

3. The secondary market: used by employers if their top candidates in the primary market

4

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