Private sector macro job opportunities

A long-time reader writes to me:

Maybe this request is too specific, but I think it has relevance for some of your readers: What are the private sector options for PhD macroeconomists? I think the options for micro people are fairly well known (market design, litigation consulting, etc.). But the options for macroeconomists are less so, in part because (as I understand it) private sector macro consulting firms use models that are far from the DSGE and even VAR models that PhD programs teach. Are these firms, as well as economist offices in banks, interested in new macro PhDs? Are other kinds of firms? What sort of coursework and dissertation choices should macro students with private sector goals select? What is the pay like? Will the application process be similar to the academic market, relying heavily on the job market paper, or will it be a different kind of interview?

I ask because it is difficult for PhD students to solicit this kind of advice from faculty due to fear that faculty don’t want to work with students who aren’t on an academic track (and, for this reason, I request anonymity). Those of us who are undecided have a difficult choice to make: information about the academic job market is abundant, but information about the private sector job market is harder to find without personal contacts.

I am far from expert on this topic, so I will turn this over to MR readers in the comments section…


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