The Disturbing World of ejmr Finance

EJMR

The Econ Job Market Rumors (EJMR) website hosts online discussion forums related to economics and finance academic job markets. EJMR first launched in 2006 as a messaging board for sharing gossip, rumors, and discussions related to the economics job market. Over time, it expanded to include forums on financial economics, accounting, general economics, statistics, and other related fields.

EJMR is an anonymous messaging board, allowing users to post without registering accounts. Users identify themselves with pseudonyms, leading to unrestrained conversations. EJMR became popular in academia for its rumors about hiring, departments, salaries, faculty, and schools. It provides an insider glimpse into the academic job market not found elsewhere. The finance section focuses specifically on issues and gossip related to finance academia, including research, publishing, tenure, conferences, and career moves.

While beginning as an informal online water cooler for economics academic gossip, EJMR expanded into a large forum used by thousands seeking insights on navigating academia. The finance section provides a window into the conversations happening among academics in that field.

Controversies Surrounding EJMR

EJMR (Economics Job Market Rumors) has generated significant controversy due to the rampant sexist and racist comments posted anonymously on the forum. The ability for users to remain anonymous has enabled abusive behaviors that likely would not occur if real names were attached to comments.

Many users, especially women and minorities, have reported being targeted with offensive slurs and inappropriate remarks about their qualifications and appearance. For example, female economists are frequently judged based on attractiveness rather than research quality. Comments about breast size, body shape, and sexual desirability are unfortunately commonplace.

Additionally, racist stereotypes are often invoked when discussing economists who are people of color. Their research contributions are diminished with unfounded accusations of only being admitted or hired to fill diversity quotas. Assumptions are made that minority scholars had an easy path through school and their job market experience.

The anonymity afforded by EJMR finance allows sexism, racism, and other forms of discrimination to thrive unchecked. Users do not feel a need to self-censor inappropriate speech because there are no consequences tied to their identity. Many argue this perpetuates an unfair, hostile culture that detracts from the profession.

Impact on Academia

The Economics Job Market Rumors (EJMR) forum has had a significant impact on academia, particularly in the field of finance. With over 40,000 members, EJMR has become an influential platform for discussions about research, institutions, and job candidates in finance academia.

Many academics in finance pay close attention to the lively discussions on EJMR for insights on the latest research trends, top programs and professors, and assessments of job market candidates. The anonymous nature of EJMR allows for candid opinions and debates that often shape perceptions in the academic finance community.

EJMR has arguably affected research agendas in finance, as the forum highlights trending topics that garner interest and scrutiny from its engaged users. Academics looking to publish impactful research that enhances their job prospects may cater their work toward subjects that are popular on EJMR. The forum provides a barometer for the issues and methods that matter most in finance academia at any given time.

The influential opinions on EJMR can make or break academic careers in finance. Commentary on job candidates and junior faculty on the forum factors into hiring and promotion decisions at many institutions, for better or worse. Some candidates have received boosts by generating positive buzz on EJMR, while others have had job prospects hindered by negative critiques. The culture of EJMR has been criticized for often being overly harsh and personal when evaluating candidates.

In summary, the forum wields substantial influence in shaping research trends and career trajectories in finance academia. Although controversial, EJMR remains widely read by those in the field for its unique insights and impact. However, there are concerns about the forum’s lack of accountability and potential for abuse that merit ongoing discussion.

Notable Discussions

The Economics Job Market Rumors forum features many popular threads and recurring topics that give insight into the academic finance job market and culture. Some of the most talked about threads include:

The Roommate From Hell

This epic thread details the story of an economics PhD student living with a difficult roommate. It’s one of the longest threads on EJMR with over 1,000 comments as users followed the saga. The heated debates and advice in the thread reveal the stressful dynamics of academia.

Rant Against Advisors

Students often turn to EJMR to vent about unsupportive advisors. One extensive thread compiles complaints ranging from advisors taking too long to read papers to sabotaging students’ career prospects. The thread exposes concerns about exploitative advisor-advisee relationships.

Non-Top 50 Woes

A common topic is the challenges for those not graduating from a top 50 economics program. Threads discuss the intense competition for academic jobs and the need for top publications to overcome pedigree bias. The discussions emphasize the prestige obsession in academia.

Interview Horror Stories

Landing an academic job interview takes effort, so applicants anxiously await final decisions. Unfortunately, many share stories of unprofessional interview behavior ranging from bizarre questions to discriminatory treatment. The threads reveal the human side of the rigid interview process.

Gender Issues

There are recurring controversial discussions about gender including complaints of discrimination against men and debates over steps to support women economists. These threads often devolve into heated arguments that reflect broader social tensions.

Overall, these notable threads provide a glimpse into the triumphs and tribulations of life in academic finance. The popularity of topics like navigating toxic situations, unfair systems, and interview woes demonstrate the forum’s value for candid insider perspectives.

User Base

The demographics of EJMR members are not publicly available, as the forum allows anonymous posting. However, based on observational analysis and discussions on the site, the user base appears to consist primarily of male academics in economics, finance, and related fields.

Many active users seem to be graduate students, PhD candidates, junior faculty, or others early in their academic careers. There is a sense that more senior and established researchers are less likely to participate, perhaps due to concerns over reputation or professionalism.

While anonymous, users often provide clues about their general background through their posts. References are frequently made to experiences at top PhD programs, research universities, and elite journals/conferences. This implies a skew towards users who have attained a high level of academic achievement and prestige.

Discussions often revolve around career struggles common among junior academics, like the tenure track process, publishing demands, advisor relationships, and the job market. The culture centers around an ultra-competitive up-or-out mentality, which likely resonates most among those currently experiencing these pressures firsthand.

Overall, EJMR appears dominated by ambitious, frustrated, and insecure young men striving for validation and status in a cutthroat academic environment. Without transparency around demographics, it is impossible to definitively characterize the user base, but observational evidence suggests it differs from the broader population of economists.

Moderation

EJMR has received considerable criticism for its lack of moderation over the years. As an anonymous online forum, it has struggled to curb inappropriate or offensive content.

In the early years of EJMR, there was minimal oversight of user posts. Moderators took a hands-off approach, allowing users to post freely without many repercussions. This resulted in rampant personal attacks, unsubstantiated rumors, and other concerning content.

Over time, EJMR has implemented stricter moderation policies in an attempt to clean up the site. Moderators now ban users who engage in doxxing, threats, racism, sexism, or other egregious behavior. Repeat offenders may be permanently banned from the site.

However, many argue that EJMR’s moderation does not go far enough. Questionable content still regularly appears, and banned users can easily create new accounts. Moderators focus mainly on removing illegal content, but do little to address issues like gossip, harassment, and uncivil discourse.

Some have called for EJMR to require real names and academic email addresses for registration, in order to increase accountability. Others think only a major cultural shift can improve EJMR’s ongoing issues. The strict anonymity makes moderation intrinsically challenging.

EJMR’s moderation policies remain controversial and hotly debated. Despite bans on extreme content, the site continues to provide a platform for gossip, rumors, and antagonistic rhetoric within academia. The lack of moderation in EJMR’s early years allowed a toxic culture to develop, the effects of which still linger today.

Alternatives to EJMR

There are a few other sites that serve as alternatives to EJMR for academic discussion and community. These include:

Other sites for academic discussion

  • Academia Stack Exchange – This is a question and answer site run by Stack Exchange that covers topics related to academia. Users can ask and answer questions related to research, teaching, grad school, and other academic topics. The moderation and community standards are stricter than EJMR.
  • The Grad Cafe – An online forum specifically for graduate school applicants to discuss the admissions process. Subforums are divided by academic discipline. Moderation aims to keep discussions civil and substantive.
  • Math Overflow – Focused on mathematics, this is a question and answer site with professional mathematician users. The standards for questions are high and content is expected to be mathematical research level. Moderation maintains the quality.
  • Reddit Academic Subreddits – There are subject-specific academic subreddits on Reddit that enable discussion. For example, r/AskAcademia, r/GradSchool, and discipline-specific groups like r/Physics. Moderation varies by subreddit.
  • Discipline-Specific Forums – Many academic disciplines have their own forums and communities that researchers participate in. These cater to focused subject matter experts.

The alternatives provide more moderation and often have higher quality discourse than EJMR. However, they may lack the breadth of uncensored discussion and critical mass of users. There are tradeoffs between open dialogue and maintaining decorum.

Gender Issues

EJMR has faced criticism for being a male-dominated online forum that enables discrimination against women. The economics profession as a whole struggles with gender diversity, but EJMR reflects some of the most extreme elements.

The tone on EJMR discussions is often casually sexist, with some threads focused on criticizing the appearance of female economists rather than their work. There have also been allegations of coordinated harassment campaigns targeting women who speak up about discrimination in academia.

Some of the most controversial EJMR threads have revealed bias in economics faculty hiring practices. In one discussion, users shared inside information about a female job candidate, making demeaning comments about her qualifications being only based on her gender and appearance. This reflects the “old boys club” culture that makes it difficult for women to succeed in economics.

While EJMR defenders argue the forum represents free speech, many view it as a breeding ground for actively excluding women from the field. The aggressive rhetoric and objectification of women serve to maintain the status quo of economics as a male-dominated discipline. Whether intentional or not, EJMR reinforces discrimination through its unchecked discussions.

Moving forward, EJMR will need to reconsider its policies if economics is to shed its reputation as a hostile environment for women. Greater awareness and moderation of gender issues could help make the forum more inclusive, but EJMR’s culture presents challenges. Meaningful progress will require the economics community as a whole to confront biases, not just criticize the symptoms seen on sites like EJMR.

Impact on Careers

EJMR has had a considerable impact on careers in finance academia. The candid discussions on EJMR can influence hiring decisions and advancement opportunities. Since EJMR provides an anonymous platform for commenting on research and researchers, some departments and committees have reportedly used EJMR threads to vet candidates. This has raised concerns about fairness and accuracy.

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