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The environmental cost of the international job market for economists

Abstract : We provide an estimate of the environmental impact of the recruitment system in the economics profession, known as the “international job market for economists”. Each year, most graduating PhDs seeking jobs in academia, government, or companies participate in this job market. The market follows a standardized process, where candidates are pre-screened in a short interview which takes place at an annual meeting in Europe or in the United States. Most interviews are arranged via a non-profit online platform,, which kindly agreed to share its anonymized data with us. Using this dataset, we estimate the individual environmental impact of 1057 candidates and one hundred recruitment committees who attended the EEA and AEA meetings in December 2019 and January 2020. We calculate that this pre-screening system generated the equivalent of about 4800 tons of avoidable CO2-eq and a comprehensive economic cost over €4.4 million. We contrast this overall assessment against three counterfactual scenarios: an alternative in-person system, a hybrid system (where videoconference is used for some candidates) and a fully online system (as it happened in 2020–21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Overall, the study can offer useful information to shape future recruitment standards in a more sustainable way.
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Soumis le : vendredi 23 septembre 2022 - 16:36:24
Dernière modification le : lundi 26 septembre 2022 - 13:31:41


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Olivier Chanel, Alberto Prati, Morgan Raux. The environmental cost of the international job market for economists. Ecological Economics, 2022, 201, pp.107565. ⟨10.1016/j.ecolecon.2022.107565⟩. ⟨hal-03778777⟩



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