Thursday, January 17, 2008

Job Talk Season

UCLA's Economics Faculty Recruiting is in high gear. We made good progress on senior recruiting in the fall and now we are in the middle of junior recruiting. There are a large number of talks taking place so there are endless 1/2 hour meetings, lunches, dinners, talks. Yesterday, I attended two job talks (one in public policy and the other in Economics).

You have to be a little bit envious of Harvard and MIT. Each of these heavyweights may have 6 job talks, vote 4 offers and hire 2 or 3. That's much less work for a department and everyone can be a "good citizen" because there are relatively few talks in total taking place.

I have learned some economics from the candidates coming through. I feel for them. They are nervous and hopeful. They wear bad suits. They refuse to tell the truth about the strange habits of their thesis advisers. Without gossip, what's the point of meeting? I'm kidding. UCLA knows that junior recruiting is a key part of building up the department and keeping the place young and active. Junior people are the reason that UC Berkeley has thrived.

Its interesting that I haven't seen any of the other bloggers blogging about "JoB talk season". Does it bore them? Or are they afraid they may reveal their school's secret strategy of cracking the "ToP 10". It would interest me who in the Profession has a good eye for predicting who will be a Star and which Stars are unable to pinpoint the young future stars?

My wife has pointed out to me that it is now easy to figure out who other schools are bringing in. I must admit that I keep an eye on Washington University in St. Louis to see who they think they may lure. I'm also watching out to see who Tufts will hire to replace me. Is there a perfect substitute for such an astute blogger?

In environmental economics today, it feels like there are 30 open Endowed Chairs and much less supply. I suggest that you enter my field and arbitrage these rents.