Dr. Jamin Speer Published in the Journal of Labor Economics

For release:  February 3, 2015

Dr. Jamin Speer, assistant professor in the Department of Economics, recently had a paper accepted by the Journal of Labor Economics. The paper is called "Cashier or Consultant? Entry Labor Market Conditions, Field of Study, and Career Success." The article is co-authored with Joseph Altonji and Lisa B. Kahn, both of Yale. Dr. Speer’s paper was also used as the subject of a New York Times article published this past June discussing the returns of graduating in certain academic disciplines in a recessionary economy.

The paper analyzes early labor market outcomes of U.S. college graduates as a function of their college major and economic conditions at the time of their graduation. The key finding is that while graduating into a recession is harmful to early-career earnings. It is much less harmful for high-earning majors like economics. High-earning majors are more "recession-proof" than lower-earning majors, as the pay gap between high-earning majors and low-earning majors widens when the economy is in recession.

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