What econ says in the shadows : Planet Money


Economics Job Market Rumors is a website that’s half a job information Wiki, where people post about what’s going on inside economics departments, and half a discussion forum, where anyone with an internet connection can ask the economics hive mind whatever they want. All anonymously.

People can talk about finding work, share rumors, and just blow off steam. And that steam can get scaldingly hot. The forum has become notorious for racist and sexist posts, often attacking specific women and people from marginalized backgrounds.

Last year, economist Florian Ederer and engineer Kyle Jensen discovered a flaw in the way the site gave anonymity to its users. The flaw made it possible to identify which universities and institutions were the sources of many of the toxic posts on the site. And helped answer a longstanding question that’s dogged the economics profession: was the toxicity on EJMR the work of a bunch of fringey internet trolls, or was it a symptom of a much deeper problem within economics itself?

This episode was hosted by Mary Childs and Alexi Horowitz-Ghazi. It was produced by Willa Rubin with help from James Sneed and Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. It was edited by Keith Romer and engineered by Josh Newell. Fact-checking by Sierra Juarez. Alex Goldmark is Planet Money’s executive producer.

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