International Monetary Fund

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IMF Recruitment

Economist Program (EP)

We are seeking the world’s top, young macroeconomists for the next intake of our Economist Program (EP).

If you are looking for an international career in a renowned global institution, the IMF’s EP could be right for you. As an Economist on the IMF’s EP, you can expect to:

  • Immediately apply your academic studies to current, real-life policy work that impacts our 188 member countries.
  • Perform a combination of analytical, research and operational work.
  • Undertake varied assignments and work on different countries and regions.
  • Work in an intellectually, challenging and diverse environment, alongside some of the world’s best macroeconomists.
  • Receive world-class benefits and working conditions.

Next Economist Program Intake Current Application Period
September 1, 2015 Late-September and October 2014

About the Economist Program

The EP is an entry-level program for talented macroeconomists interested in pursuing a career in international economics and finance. It is a 3-year program specifically designed to enable participants to quickly gain operational experience and further develop macroeconomics expertise. EPs are given full professional responsibilities to carry out operations-related analysis, and to apply their studies and research to policy work that impacts the Fund's member countries.

Each year, we hire 20 – 40 of the best young macroeconomist graduates from around the world. Economists in the EP undertake two 18-month assignments enabling them to get fully rounded experience in regional and country-specific issues, as well as in fiscal, monetary, balance of payments, debt or other issues. Travel is part of these assignments. EPs travel to the countries they are assigned where they interact with country authorities and carry out operational work related to the IMF's mission. In addition to work assignments, EPs undertake a range of training and development activities and are mentored, guided and supported by seasoned macroeconomists. Upon completion of the program, EPs take up career positions at the IMF. See Economists for more details on the work of IMF economists. EPs usually join as a group in September each year.


To be eligible for the EP, candidates must have graduate-level training in macroeconomics or relevant fields, such as public finance, monetary economics, international economics, poverty issues, political economy, or econometrics. We are particularly interested in recent PhD graduates, or PhD candidates who will be completing their PhD program within a few months of joining. Candidates who hold a Master’s degree in economics, finance, quantitative methods, international relations, or public policy with graduate level macroeconomics as well as relevant, practical experience who are knowledgeable about exchange rate regimes, fixed income trading, and economics research, may also be considered.

To be considered, candidates must meet the EP eligibility criteria. In addition, successful candidates must demonstrate preferred knowledge, skills, and abilities. The EP is very competitive - over 1,500 candidates apply annually for about 20 to 40 positions.

Candidates must also:

  • Possess a superior academic record.
  • Have a good command of English (both written and oral).
  • Demonstrate strong analytical, quantitative, and computer skills.
  • Show an interest in, and aptitude for, working in an international organization.
  • Be from one of the Fund's member countries.
  • Be below the age of 34 at the point of joining if selected.

In addition to the above criteria, the ideal candidate would:

  • Be interested in undertaking a combination of analytical, operational, and research work.
  • Understand and value the work of policy-oriented institutions.
  • Be strong in their field of expertise, but versatile and flexible in learning other areas.
  • Have a strong understanding of macroeconomics, be able to work within a clear conceptual framework, and be comfortable navigating around the different sectors of an economy, and understand the linkages between these sectors.
  • Be capable of writing high quality policy papers as well as shorter targeted notes to guide the work of the Fund and its member countries.
  • Be able to work in teams toward a common goal, making a significant contribution to the team's work, sharing information within the team, and coaching junior staff.
  • Be prepared to travel.
  • Have foreign language skills or be willing to learn another language, if needed.

How do we select EPs?

EPs are selected through a multi-phased process. Each component is assigned a weighting, as identified in the table below.

Component Standard
Weighting (%)
Economist Panel Interview 30
Research/Job Market Paper 30
Preliminary Interview 10
Writing Test 10
References 5
Academic Grades 10
Psychometric Assessment 5

Phase 1

Candidates complete their online application during the EP application period. Before submitting your application, you may find it helpful to review the general information for applicants in the Current Vacancies section.

Phase 2

Shortlisted candidates participate in a 30 minute preliminary interview. During the interview, candidates are asked to provide a high level overview of their job market paper or other research paper and to answer 2-3 macroeconomics questions.

Preliminary interviews are held in-person during university visits and at IMF headquarters, or remotely (via Skype or phone).

Phase 3

Candidates participate in a full-day election process at IMF Headquarters in Washington DC, comprising:

  • A 45-60 minute interview with a panel of three senior IMF economists and an HR Officer. The interview is designed to assess candidates’ analytical abilities; judgment; oral communication skills; and general knowledge of macroeconomics. Questions focus primarily on monetary, fiscal, balance of payments, and financial sector issues rather than a candidate's dissertation or job market paper.
  • A 90 minute written test during which the candidate is asked to select one of three working papers and prepare a brief (one-and-a-half to two page) summary and critical commentary. The purpose of the test is to assess candidates’ drafting skills and analytical abilities.
  • A 30-45 minutes online psychometric test designed to assesses candidates’ behavioral skills.

In addition, each candidate is required to submit:

  • A sole authored research paper (ideally of publishable standard) or one or two chapters of their dissertation (of less than 25 pages);
  • Most recent university transcript from the last degree obtained or to be obtained (e.g. PhD candidates should submit their latest PhD transcript); and
  • Three references (these may be academic or professional referees).


The IMF will considers each candidate’s performance in each component, as well as their overall rating, to determine to which candidates will receive offers. In addition, other factors, such as diversity and particular skills sets needed by the institution, may also be considered. Candidates who are offered a position in the EP typically need to respond within a few days. Offers are only binding for the current recruitment year and do not extend to the following year. Ratings and rankings are not shared with candidates, however, general feedback may be provided, upon request.

Salary and Benefits

Economists selected for the EP are offered a competitive salary and benefits – please see Working for the IMF.

How to Apply

If you are interested in being considered for the IMF’s EP, please submit your application online during the application period indicated above. EP applications should be submitted through the Current Vacancies section.

Qualified women and candidates from under-represented regions (Middle-East, East Asia, Africa and Transition countries) are particularly encouraged to apply.