Matching for the Economics Job Market

UC Merced Economist Andrew Johnston Creates a Platform to Improve Job-Market Outcomes for Candidates and Employers

A Matching Recommender for the Econ Job Market

The job market involves common difficulties for both hiring committees and job candidates. Sometimes, search committees shoot too high, leaving the department with few options when those candidates fall through. Other times, departments bypass candidates they thought were out of reach and learn, too late, that the candidate would have preferred their offer to the one they accepted. In parallel, candidates struggle, having limited tools to credibly signal interest in jobs, a fact that makes both sides of the market worse off.

We've made a not-for-profit tool (i.e., no cost) that helps solve these issues for both search committees and job candidates. The tool ( takes preference-rankings from employers and candidates after the AEA interviews, and uses those preferences to recommend each employer their top-five “gettable” candidates (e.g., 1st-best match: Abigail Adams; 2nd-best match: James Madison; 3rd-best match: Frederick Douglass, etc.), using matching. These recommendations represent an employer’s best (most preferred), attainable candidates. Moreover, the process allows candidates to credibly signal interest to their favorite, attainable employers, without an elaborate dance.

We're rolling out a fully functional beta version of the tool this Fall. We encourage candidates and employers to try EconMatch during this coming job market. We're keen to hear about your experience with the platform and incorporate suggestions to improve the service (please email me directly with any questions or suggestions at [email protected]). We hope to help you have a better job market!

Steps for candidates: For visual learners, we’ve provided a five-minute video on the process for candidates, here. Candidates are invited to (1) register for an account by December 15, 2018. As they learn their AEA interviews, candidates (2) identify those openings on by January 1, 2019. At the end of the AEAs, (3) candidates submit their rankings of the openings they interviewed for by midnight of January 6, 2019. 

Steps for employers: For visual learners, we’ve provided a five-minute video on the process for employers, here. Search chairs are invited to (1) register for an account by December 15, 2018 at and select the openings they are responsible for. On the final day of the AEAs, (2) employers submit their rankings of candidates they interviewed by midnight, January 6, 2019. The next morning, we will email each employer a ranked list of their best five candidates who would be likely to accept their offer. We encourage employers to invite their applicants to participate in EconMatch.

More information can be found on our FAQ page.