GMU isn’t hiring this year, but I still enjoy going through the job market candidates to see what is new in the profession. I’ll be blogging a few of the more interesting pieces I found, in the meantime here are some summary remarks from my investigations. Keep in mind these are highly subjective impressions for the most part:
1. MIT students had the most interesting papers overall, Harvard second.
2. Job market papers seem to be getting longer. I was surprised how many 60-90 pp. papers I saw.
3. The concentrated distribution of students among a few advisors, within a department, seems to be increasing.
4. There are plenty of good but not interesting to me papers on economic development going around. The “dairy farmers in Kenya” sort of paper, fine work of high quality, but I look for something more general to read and report on.
5. Industrial Organization continues to be a mostly boring field. Development economics and health care economics are still “in.” There are a variety of good papers on financial intermediation.
6. There are hardly any theory papers coming out of the top schools.
7. The differences in student quality, within a department, seem to be narrowing.
8. Harvard economics has the best and easiest to use web site for their job market candidates, some other very good schools still have very low quality web sites.