The Globalization of the Economics Profession

Photo: Kenneth Lu

The globalization of the economics profession is remarkable. I was chatting with a new Ph.D. from the Technical University of Dortmund, Germany. He did his undergraduate work in Shanghai, China; he went to Denver, USA, to attend the American Economic Association job market; and he just had a job visit to Monash University in Australia. Thus, his educational background and job activities span 4 continents!

This kind of globalization is growing rapidly in my profession (and many others); and the competition that it implies has effects on behavior in domestic professional markets. Until the 1980s, it was typical for senior scholars in Germany to insist that their young associates list the “Herr Professor Doktor” as a coauthor. One still sees that, but only among the very oldest senior professors. Partly that’s because outsiders, seeing a senior German professor’s name on his students’ papers, assume that the senior person did nothing. International openness alters even intellectual markets. (HT: YG)

Julian Togelius

So, economists in general don't list their supervisors as coauthors anymore? Interesting.

In computer science you basically always coauthor with your supervisor, which makes sense because you collaborate. If anything, it was more common for students to publish papers without their supervisor in the past - now it's accepted everywhere (in the CS world) that research is a collaborative effort.

Andres Garcia

I am not as astonished as the author as to the globalization of economics professions. The economy is a global aspect of the entire world not just the United States or any other affluent nation. The fact that an undergraduate student looking to major in economics studies in many different countries throughout this journey seems as common as a doctor taking the same route.

Annes Kim

I think that the professors who have required their students to write that they coauthored their work had some kind of relationship to how they helped out as well. However, I think that it is unnecessary if the senior professor did not input any work with the student. I also see the commenter's point above as valid, since the professor could have had much possibility that they helped out with the student. Collaboration and teamwork is crucial, especially in a world with a rapidly growing globalization of businesses.


Interesting, however the question I think would be good to answer is - when he enters the job market will his country hoping play any role in his ability to get a job, either positive or negative? And does it have a positive or negative correlation on his earning power?

At least it may provide others with some help on deciding on a similiar course of study.


I fear it's bad news for American economists who aren't raised with an expectation of living abroad and may have higher psychological migration costs. For us it's just increased competition for jobs in the US.