Jamin Speer Featured in New York Times

For release:  October 7, 2014

Dr. Jamin Speer, assistant professor of Economics at Fogelman College, had his paper entitled, “Cashier or Consultant? Entry Labor Market Conditions, Field of Study, and Career Success,” used as the subject of a New York Times article discussing the returns of graduating in certain academic disciplines in a recessionary economy. This paper was co-authored by Dr. Joseph G. Altonji, professor of Economics at Yale University, and Dr. Lisa B. Kahn, associate professor of Economics at Yale University, both of whom served as Dr. Speer’s advisors during his doctoral studies.

“Studying the right academic discipline can pay huge dividends towards one’s future success,” said Dr. Speer. “Being an economics major is an excellent choice – and an even better one when the economy goes south!”

In the paper, labor market outcomes of U.S. college graduates from the classes of 1976 to 2011 are analyzed as a function of the economic conditions into which they graduated. Focusing on the average earnings premium, college majors were categorized by average economic outcomes and skill of the major, while a range of labor market outcomes over the first 13 years after college were also measured. It was found that poor labor market conditions disrupt early careers and the effect on earnings and full-time employment fade over the first seven years of a career while the wage effect persists. High-earnings majors, such as economics, were found to be somewhat sheltered when graduating into the recession relative to the average major while also less likely to obtain an advanced degree when graduating into a recession.

To read the complete New York Times article, please click here.