Econ Job Market Rumors (EJMR) is an anonymous online forum that’s best described as “4chan for economists.” There’s tons of “hate speech” and it’s “full of sexism, racism, classism, and homophobia.” But it’s popular and it’s been around for a long time.

EJMR is a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

EJMR is a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

A problem for economics

EJMR is a stain upon our profession. CSWEP, an organization representing women in economics, called out “the sexist, racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic statements” and “the harassment and abuse targeted at particular scholars” that are all over EJMR. Olivier Blanchard, the president of the American Economic Association, called it a “cesspool” and “a breeding ground for abusive personal attacks.” Alice Wu, an economist who wrote a research paper on EJMR, described the shockingly “explicit sexual content of posts and the racism and sexism on the website.” Florian Ederer, the author of a conference presentation on EJMR, showed that many racist and sexist EJMR posters are university professors. In the New York Times, the economist Justin Wolfers wrote that EJMR is “evidence of a toxic environment for women” and David Romer, another leading economist, called it “a cesspool of misogyny.”

EJMR metastasised to other fields

The EJMR cancer metastasised to other academic fields. Realising the financial success of EJMR —tons of visitors translate into tons of money from the Google ads that are all over the site—the owner of EJMR “Kirk” started Political Science Rumors (PSR) and Sociology Job Market Rumors (SJMR) which are just as noxious and malicious as EJMR. They’re all linked together by the same Google AdSense ID pub-9298753963465867.

Petitions are not enough

Thousands of economists have signed several petitions against EJMR accompanied by coverage in big mainstream media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal. They are the largest petitions ever received by the American Economic Association. They are, however, not enough. In this investigative series, I will shine a light onto this foetid cesspool. Please check back for updates.

Live long and prosper. Spock 🖖