Those eviscerated endowments at Harvard, UVA and many other universities are bad news for would-be academics. Over at Freakonomics, Just Wolfers points out that hiring is being scaled back hard at universities:
The “help wanted” publication for Ph.D. economists is sporting a brand new section: suspended or canceled listings. It isn’t pretty. Over 30 job listings from the past few months have already been canceled, and plenty more universities never even listed an ad. And this doesn’t even count all of those who are in a “hiring frost” instead of a “hiring freeze,” or rumours of further cutbacks.
It is going to be a tough few months for newly-minted econ Ph.D.’s. And the long-run news is also grim: An intriguing study published a few years back by my former Stanford colleague Paul Oyer suggests that graduating in a downturn results in a lower-prestige initial job.
This is going to ripple through universities. The non-tenured will be shown the door, and the tenured profs won’t get to sit in their offices and dream up papers that will be read by five people. They might actually have to take on some coursework.