Dr. Jamin D. Speer

Associate Professor of Economics

FCBE 413
Office Hours
Jamin D. Speer


Dr. Jamin Speer is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis. He received his B.A. in Economics from Vanderbilt University in 2007 and his Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University in 2014.

Dr. Speer is a labor economist who conducts research on occupation and college major choice, gender gaps in STEM and other fields, how family background and economic conditions affect life choices and outcomes, the effectiveness of job training, the roles of soft and hard skills, and firms' use of networks in their hiring practices. He also teaches a variety of courses, including macroeconomics, labor economics, and public economics at the undergraduate level as well as labor economics and mathematical economics at the graduate level.

Dr. Speer is an active researcher who has published scholarly papers in leading journals and frequently speaks at leading economics conferences and at other universities. He enjoys his work as well as his family and church life.


B.A. Economics - Vanderbilt University - 2007
M.A. Economics - Yale University - 2009
M.Phil. Economics - Yale University - 2011
Ph.D. Economics - Yale University - 2014


IZA Research Fellow, JPAL-MENA Invited Researcher

Areas of Teaching

Labor economics, public finance, mathematical economics, microeconomics, macroeconomics


Areas of Research

Labor economics, economics of education, development economics, applied microeconomics

Work in Progress

"Opening the Black Box of College Major Choice: Evidence from an Information Intervention" (with Fulya Ersoy)

"STEM Occupations and the Gender Gap: What Can We Learn From Job Tasks?"

"Are Soft Skills Enough? Experimental Evidence on Skill Complementarity for College Graduates" (with Adam Osman)

"Rich Grad, Poor Grad: Family Background and College Major Choice" (with Margaret Leighton)

"The Kids Aren't Like They Used to Be: 40 Years of Evidence on Selection into College and College Major" (with Margaret Leighton)


"Discrimination Against Women in Hiring" (with Adam Osman and Andrew Weaver), Accepted at EDCC

"Microfinance's Transformational Potential: Looking Beyond Average Treatment Effects" (with Ronald Cueva and Adam Osman), Accepted at Oxford Review of Economic Policy

"Stigma and Take-Up of Labor Market Assistance: Evidence from Two Experiments" (with Adam Osman), Accepted at Economica

"Student Performance in Online Health Courses", Accepted at Education Economics

"Bye Bye Ms. American Sci: Women and the Leaky STEM Pipeline", Economics of Education Review 93, April 2023

"The Consequences of Prootion and Relegation in European Soccer Leagues: A Regression Discontinuity Approach", Sports Economic Review 1, March 2023

"Connections, Referrals, and Hiring Outcomes: Evidence from an Egyptian Establishment Survey" (with Adam Osman and Andrew Weaver), JEBO 204, December 2022

"Major-Occupation Match Quality: An Empirical Measure Based on Relative Productivity" (with Margaret Leighton), BE Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy 23(1), p. 285-292, January 2023

"Labor Market Returns to College Major Specificity" (with Margaret Leighton), European Economic Review 128, September 2020

"Where The Girls Are: Examining and Explaining the Huge Gender Gap in the Nursing Major", Scottish Journal of Political Economy 67(3), p. 322-343, July 2020

"Are Changes of Major Major Changes? The Roles of Grades, Gender, and Preferences in College Major Switching" (with Carmen Astorne-Figari), Economics of Education Review 70, p. 75-93, June 2019

"Drop Out, Switch Majors, or Persist? The Contrasting Gender Gaps" (with Carmen Astorne-Figari), Economics Letters 164, p. 82-85, March 2018

"The Gender Gap in College Major: Revisiting the Role of Pre-College Factors", Labour Economics 44, p. 69-88, January 2017

"Pre-Market Skills, Occupational Choice, and Career Progression", Journal of Human Resources 52(1), p. 187-246, January 2017

"How Bad is Occupational Coding Error? A Task-Based Approach", Economics Letters, 141, p. 166-168, April 2016

"Cashier or Consultant? Entry Labor Market Conditions, Field of Study, and Career Success" (with Joseph G. Altonji and Lisa B. Kahn), Journal of Labor Economics, 34(S1), p. S361-S401, January 2016

"Wages, Hours, and the School-to-Work Transition: The Consequences of Leaving School in a Recession for Less-Educated Men", The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, 16(1), p. 97-124, January 2016

"Trends in Earnings Differentials Across Majors and the Changing Task Composition of Jobs" (with Joseph G. Altonji and Lisa B. Kahn), American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 104(5), p. 387-393, May 2014