Job Placement Sets Georgia State’s Economics Ph.D. Program Apart

Posted On August 10, 2015
Categories News

Prospects comparing doctorate-granting institutions in economics have every reason to give Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies a good long look. For one reason, the school offers a critical mass of top-ranked faculty who confer more doctorates in economics each year than do the University of Georgia and Emory University combined.

P1070542-1-300x225More importantly, every one of these students enters a job, post-doc or fellowship upon graduation.

“What do students look for when they’re looking at Ph.D. programs?” asks Rusty Tchernis, an associate professor of economics and director of the doctoral program. “I tell them to look at job placements. Rankings are too general and often lag five to ten years. It’s better to know how many graduates leave with jobs.”

The Andrew Young School’s newly minted doctors of economics specialize in areas such as public finance, labor, health, environment, urban and experimental economics. Of the 44 students who earned their doctorates from 2011-2015, all but one (who followed her husband home to Brazil and a teaching position) have left for postdocs at leading universities and jobs at the U.S. Census, World Bank, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as major consulting firms like Ernst & Young and McKinsey & Company. (See list that follows.)

“We’ve placed two graduates in the last two years in Ivy League schools,” says Tchernis. “One was accepted for a postdoc at Colombia University last year, and another went to Dartmouth. We’ve also had graduates go to Wake Forest University and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.”

P1070552-4-300x225Tchernis considers the faculty’s commitment to these placements a value-added contribution to the degree program. “We, as faculty, spend a lot of time working on these placements. The whole of the department pitches in, calling contacts and making a big effort. We’re all willing to push really hard for our graduates.”

“Our placements during the last two years have been excellent,” agrees associate professor and placement director Michael Price. “And we have some really strong candidates in class with us now. I anticipate even better outcomes over the next few years.”

The department continuously plans ways to improve these placements, says Tchernis. “We are making a lot of changes to the program, and they’re all directed at trying to get our Ph.D. graduates better jobs.” He mentions ideas under discussion:

  • Requiring student teaching: “We notice that students who teach do better in the job market. We also notice the students who don’t do well didn’t teach.”
  • Redoing the workshop series: “We are reviewing every step of the program, directing it at making students more employable and competitive in the job market.”
  • Improving student recruiting: “The improvements we’ve made here in the last couple of years will show up in placements in the next few years.”

His advice to working economists is, “Don’t be surprised if you find this message in your inbox next spring, along with short bios of some extraordinary students: Continuing in the great achievements of 2015 graduates, the department proudly offers yet another group of qualified Ph.D. candidates to the 2016 job market.”


Evana Afreen, Ernst & Young, LLP

Vladimir Fleurimond, Indiana University Bloomington, SPEA

Guanlin Gao, Indiana University South Bend

William Martin, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Ryan Mickey, Maryville College

Marietou Ouayogode, The Dartmouth Institute, Post-Doc

Yanling Qi, California State University, Long Beach

Astha Sen, Sonoma State University

Melissa Trussell, Georgia Perimeter College

Xilin Zhou, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Prevention Effectiveness Fellowship



Lorenzo Almada, Columbia University, Post-Doc

Subha Basu Roy, Southern Missouri University

Jeffrey Condon, McKinsey and Company

Mark Curtis, Wake Forest University

Elizabeth Gooch, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

Christopher Mothorpe, College of Charleston

Urmi Sen, Stony Brook University, Post-Doc

Muhammad Husain, Georgia State University, Visiting Professor



Alexander Brumlik, King University

Danyang Li, Hofstra University

Yongzheng Liu, Renmin University of China, School of Finance

Chandler McClellan, National Bureau of Economic Research

Fernando Rios Avila, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

Andinet Woldemichael, University of Maryland, School of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research Dept.



Andrew Balthrop, American University of Sharjah

Omer Baris, Georgia State University, Visiting Professor

Menna Bizuneh, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University

Leanora Brown, Augustana College

Robert Buschman, Georgia State University, Fiscal Research Center

Erin Coffman, Airbnb, San Francisco, Analyst

Zachary Hawley, Texas Christian University

Juan Jose Miranda Montero, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Fellow

Harold Vasquez, Central Bank of Dominican Republic, Deputy Director of Research

Kelly Wilkin, U.S. Census Bureau, Social, Economics, and Housing Statistics Division



Roberta Calvet, Lesley University

Gustavo Canavire Bacarreza, Georgia State University, International Center for Public Policy

Tamoya Christie, University of West Indies

Merlin Hanauer, Sonoma State University

Andrew Stephenson, Georgia Gwinnett College

Violeta Vulovic, Georgia State University, International Center for Public Policy

Amanda Wilsker, Georgia Gwinnett College

Tetyana Zelenska, Innovations for Poverty Actions