EJMR Finance: The Ugly Behind the Anonymous Academic Forum

EJMR Finance (Economics Job Market Rumors) is an online discussion forum focused on academia and the economics job market. It was created in 2006 as an anonymous place for graduate students, professors and others to discuss, gossip, and speculate about academic life and the job search process. Some key aspects of EJMR include:

  • Purpose: The main purpose of the forum is for members to exchange information, opinions, and rumors about the economics academic job market, research, faculty, universities, conferences, and other aspects of academia. This includes open discussion and speculation.

  • History: EJMR was started in 2006 by an anonymous economics graduate student. It was originally hosted through a free forum service but moved to its own domain in 2007. Since then, it has grown to have over 40,000 registered members.

  • Anonymity: EJMR allows anonymous posting. Members can share controversial opinions, criticisms, and rumors without attaching their real identities. This is a defining characteristic of the forum.

  • Community: A subculture has formed around EJMR, with long-time anonymous members, inside jokes, traditions, and a shared terminology. For some, it provides a sense of community in the competitive world of academic economics.

EJMR occupies a unique space as an anonymous back-channel for frank discussion and speculation about the academic job market and profession. Its controversial reputation is tied to the culture that has formed around this anonymity.

Forum Structure

EJMR is organized into different forums and discussion threads. Users must register an account to participate, which includes choosing a username and password.

The forums are divided into topics like economics job market, research, teaching, policy, etc. Within each forum, members can start new discussion threads or comment on existing threads. Threads often focus on topics like advice for the job market, opinions on economic research papers, issues in academia, or econ-related news.

Some key rules on EJMR include:

  • No ad hominem attacks or offensive language
  • Don’t reveal anyone’s personal identity or information
  • Don’t violate copyright laws by posting full papers
  • Abide by standard internet etiquette and constructive discussions

The forums have moderators who review content and can delete posts or ban users if rules are violated. But overall the culture tends towards free speech, anonymity, and unfiltered discussions.


EJMR has generated significant controversy due to allegations of rampant sexism, racism, and harassment on the forum. The anonymous nature of the site has enabled users to make offensive comments without accountability.

Many critics argue the site promotes a toxic culture that marginalizes women and minorities in economics. For example, female economists are often given demeaning nicknames and critiqued on their appearance rather than their research. There are entire threads dedicated to ranking the “hotness” of female economists.

The site has also faced backlash for enabling harassment campaigns against specific women in the field. In 2018, Alice Wu, an economist at UC Berkeley, published a paper detailing harassment she faced after anonymously posting her research on gender bias in economics job market rumors on EJMR. She faced a barrage of personal attacks and skepticism over her research methods and motivations.

Many allege the site also enables racism, with offensive comments made about minority economists. The lack of moderation and accountability on EJMR has created an atmosphere where this type of discrimination and harassment thrives unchecked.

Overall, many argue EJMR’s toxic culture perpetuates and worsens longstanding issues of discrimination and hostility faced by women and minorities in economics. The prevalence of sexism, racism, and harassment on the forum remains one of its most controversial aspects.

Impact on Academia

The Economics Job Market Rumors forum, known as EJMR, has had a significant impact on academia and the economics job market. The anonymous nature of the forum has allowed candid conversations, but also enabled problematic speech.

EJMR has influenced admissions decisions, recruiting, and general discourse in the field. Admissions committees have reportedly looked up applicants on the forum to get candid opinions. Some professors argue they can better evaluate candidates based on EJMR commentary. However, this allows unverified rumors and insensitive speech to potentially impact applicants unfairly.

Many economists lament the toxic culture EJMR has bred. Sexist and racist language is pervasive, with discussions often devolving into personal attacks rather than substantive debate. This has created an exclusionary atmosphere that dissuades participation from underrepresented groups. Surveys have found female economists rate the job market as significantly more hostile than men, with online forums like EJMR frequently cited.

EJMR has also impacted recruiting and hiring practices. Job candidates described as conventionally attractive tend to elicit more positive commentary, while women and minority candidates often face demeaning remarks on their appearance and qualifications. Some economists argue they use EJMR to identify candidates to avoid. However, this allows unverified rumors and unconscious bias to shape hiring decisions.

While EJMR provides a valuable space for candid discussion, its lack of oversight has normalized exclusionary speech and questionable practices. Academia must balance open discourse with ethical standards to create a more inclusive culture. Ongoing critiques of EJMR’s influence illustrate the need for greater awareness and accountability.


EJMR primarily focuses on economic research in academia and some of the main research topics include:

  • Macroeconomics – Discussions on macroeconomic theory, policy, and empirical work. Popular topics include monetary policy, fiscal policy, economic growth, international trade, etc.

  • Microeconomics – Conversations around microeconomic theory, industrial organization, game theory, behavioral economics, experimental economics etc.

  • Econometrics – Methodological discussions and debates around econometric techniques like identification, estimation, and causal inference.

  • EJMR Finance- Research on asset pricing, corporate finance, investments, market microstructure, and financial institutions.

  • Labor Economics – Research on topics like labor supply, migration, human capital, discrimination, inequality, and policy.

  • Public Economics – Work on taxation, social insurance, health economics, education, and government policy.

The forum aims to keep up with the latest research trends in top economics journals and engage in substantive debate on new working papers, seminal publications, and emerging ideas. Members actively discuss the methodological rigor, contribution, and real-world implications of new economic research.

Jargon and Culture

EJMR has developed its own unique jargon and culture over the years as an online academic forum. Here are some of the notable elements:

Mathbabe – A common term for female academics or students, sometimes used dismissively. Comes from the stereotype that women only study math to find a boyfriend.

LEGBRO – An acronym for “Lesser Economics Graduate BROther”, used to describe male PhD students who did not get into top programs.

Scrote – A derogatory term for a male academic considered incompetent or unqualified.

Pet math – Obscure or niche subfields of mathematics that some academics focus on exclusively. Used mockingly, implying they are not capable of more important work.

Laidoffsky – A nickname coined after a user named Laidoffski who complained about the tough academic job market. Now used to refer to unemployed PhDs.

Go to the barrel – A reference to using a barrel as a makeshift home after failing to find a faculty position. Comments may advise struggling academics to “go to the barrel” rather than continuing their job search.

Doxing – Revealing personal information about a user without their consent, such as real name or institution affiliation. This is discouraged yet still occurs in some heated disputes.

As an anonymous online forum, EJMR has developed an insular culture full of sarcasm, crass humor, and inside jokes. The boundary between satire and genuine hostility is not always clear for outsiders.


EJMR is known for its extensive posts where users seek and provide advice on a wide range of academic and career topics. Some common themes include:

  • Navigating the job market – Many threads focus on strategizing for the academic job market, like how to create an effective job market paper, put together a strong CV, prepare for interviews, negotiate offers, and weigh different positions. Users give tips on maximizing research output and visibility when on the market.

  • Succeeding in PhD programs – Current and prospective PhD students often ask for suggestions on picking advisors, making progress on dissertations, managing time, and transitioning from coursework to research. Responses provide practical advice and moral support.

  • Tenure process – Tenured and tenure-track professors regularly contribute guidance on achieving tenure based on their experiences, like putting together a strong tenure file, managing expectations, and navigating politics.

  • Work-life balance – Balancing an academic career with personal life is a common struggle, and the forum sees discussions about parenthood, maintaining relationships, and managing stress. Users exchange self-care tips and empathy.

  • Alt-ac careers – For those considering careers outside academia, experienced members offer perspectives on transitioning to industry, government, or non-profit jobs. Advice covers interview preparation, skill translation, and fulfilling new roles.

  • Department issues – Queries and suggestions related to managing various department-level concerns are common, like handling difficult colleagues, advising students, leading committees, and recruiting.

The advice shared on EJMR, while not always appropriate, provides valued support and guidance for navigating academia. The forum allows genuine exchanges of knowledge between members facing similar challenges and situations.


EJMR is notorious for the harsh critiques and reviews that get posted about papers, schools, and professors in economics and EJMR Finance. Users can post anonymously, leading to very blunt assessments and personal attacks.

Some of the most controversial elements of EJMR are the professor ratings. Users review and rank professors, often focusing on attributes like research, teaching, looks/charisma, easiness, and “foodie-ness.” Female professors in particular have faced misogynistic commentary and ranking based on their appearance. The tone is often demeaning, with professors given nicknames mocking their research interests or backgrounds.

While EJMR users defend the ratings and reviews as free speech and providing transparency, critics argue they cross major ethical lines. Candidates on the job market have faced damaging rumors being spread about them through EJMR. Professors being trashed in anonymous posts say it creates a toxic environment. The site essentially provides a platform for harassment with little oversight or accountability.

There are also questions around the validity and fairness of the reviews on EJMR. With anonymity, disgruntled students or those with an agenda can easily misrepresent a professor or school. Some say the rankings are arbitrary, not reflecting teaching quality or research rigor. But they can still have major influence, steering students and job candidates away.

The unchecked critiques on EJMR highlight the dark side of anonymous online forums. While they may aim to provide transparency, the lack of accountability also enables abuse, exaggeration, and agendas. For many economists and academics, EJMR represents an ugly corner of their field that breeds toxicity more than honest assessments.


While EJMR has been the dominant forum for economics job market discussions, several alternatives have emerged that aim to foster more constructive conversations without the toxicity present on EJMR. These alternative sites provide many of the benefits of EJMR, such as sharing information and experiences about the job market, without offensive commentary.

One popular alternative is EconJobRumors.com, which has stricter policies against racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination. The moderators enforce these policies by deleting offensive posts and banning abusive users. As a result, conversations tend to be more civil and inclusive. The site provides forums on academic economics, career advice, policy, and more.

Economics Job Market Wiki is another alternative that focuses on constructive information sharing in a wiki format. Anyone can contribute to building a knowledge base about the economics job market. The wiki covers topics like rankings, salaries, interviews, and professional development. By crowdsourcing insights in an open platform, it aims to democratize access to job market information.

For female economists specifically, there is Women Economists on Econ Job Market, a Facebook group that provides a safe space for women to discuss their job hunts. The group has over 3,000 members who share tips and experiences in a supportive community. This can be especially valuable for women facing particular challenges on the job market.

While EJMR retains significant mindshare, these alternative sites demonstrate there are options for more positive forums on the economics job market. As awareness grows of EJMR’s downsides, economists may continue migrating to other platforms that better serve their needs.


EJMR has evolved over the years from an anonymous online forum for academics to share information and opinions, to a more controversial site known for inappropriate speech. However, it continues to provide a space for frank discussions and valuable insights into the world of academic EJMR Finance not found elsewhere.

The site’s anonymity allows users to speak freely but also enables unprofessional and uncivil discourse. While concerning, this reflects larger issues around lack of diversity and bottled-up frustrations in academia. Ultimately EJMR is a symptom of wider problems that must be addressed at their root.

Moving forward, the site may better moderate itself to reduce harmful rhetoric while maintaining free speech. And academics should thoughtfully consider how to constructively improve their institutions and culture, rather than venting anonymously online. EJMR provides a window into the inner workings of academia – by looking inward as well as outward, real positive change can come.

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