Tips buat yang berencana ambil PhD in Economics

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Tips buat yang berencana ambil PhD in Economics

Post by Leon-Lie on Fri Aug 29, 2008 8:58 am

Advice for Applying to Grad School in Economics
Disclaimer: These are just opinions, and some people may disagree with the claims here. You should seek opinions from your advisors.

Choosing classes

* Graduate schools care much more about what hard classes you've taken and how you've done in them than about overall GPA.
* If you have taken difficult classes its probably a good idea to point this out in your application essay because schools might not know what the math classes are, which economics classes are the advanced ones, etc.
* Real analysis is an especially important class because it tends to be demanding everywhere, and forces you to do logical and formal proofs. Get a good grade in this class.
* Taking some graduate classes can be a good thing, but be prepared. You will be at a disadvantage since the grad students will all have study groups. Try to join a study group and devote serious time to any graduate classes you take.

Recommendation letters

* Recommendations which are not from economists have very little value. Recommendations from economists who have contacts at the schools you are applying to are most useful.
* Get recommendations from people who know you well.
* Corollary: Get to know some professors well. Professors will be very excited that you want to get a Ph.D. in economics. Don't be afraid to approach them. Listen to their advice.
* Give professors every possible opportunity to say they don't feel comfortable recommending you to the school you're applying to. If they express any hesitation don't have them send it. One bad letter hurts much more than any good letters can help.
* It's fine to have a letter from someone you worked for even if they didn't teach you in a class.
* If you do not have relationships with economics professors (e.g. you are a math major) or if you attend a college or university without faculty that have connections at the top Ph.D. programs, you still have a good chance of admission if the rest of your application is stellar. Just be aware that objective criteria such as GRE scores, grades in hard math classes, and essays will receive more weight, and make sure that you do everything you can to help the admissions committee evaluate your record.

Application Essays

* On your graduate school application its very important to write an essay saying what kinds of areas of economics you're interested in, what questions you think are interesting, what papers you've read that you've liked etc. Be as specific as possible. It may be helpful to discuss your thesis or research assistant work. Its not necessary to have a specific thesis proposal, and odds are if you try to pretend you have one when you really don't you'll come off as sounding naive which is a bad thing. Mostly schools just read these to see what field you're interested in and to get a sense whether you have any idea what you're getting yourself into. You should therefore try to talk intelligently about your topic of interest to show that you understand something about what research in that field would be like.
* Get someone to read your essays, preferably an advanced graduate student or a faculty member.
* Application essays for NSF fellowships have typically been judged differently. They seem to want a specific thesis proposal and value clear brief surveys of the existing literature, a clear statement of what you'd like to add to this, a discussion of datasets you might want to use etc. They don't like vague statements about liking economics, and don't seem to mind that people aren't really going to do what they say.

NSF Fellowships

* Every student applying to graduate school should apply for an NSF fellowship. Winning one gives you a much better financial deal than any school will offer. Even if you don't win just the fact that you applied will increase the probability of your being accepted by graduate schools.
* Don't be surprised to find that the fellowships are only weakly influenced by grades and GRE scores. The essays matter a lot.
* Even if its questionable whether your eligible go ahead and apply. The rules seem to change a lot.
* Apply from your home address if you attend college in states like Massachusetts or California. There is some allocation by home state, since this is a federal program.

Application timing

* As long as its in by the deadline it doesn't matter. It is an advantage to have your folder be complete very soon after the deadline, which means making sure your recommenders get their letters in.

GRE Scores

* Though the test is not necessarily a good predictor of success, it matters a lot (especially the quantitative portion). Studying for the GRE dramatically increases your scores so you should definitely practice.
* The economics GRE doesn't usually count for much, but it does give a chance for people who haven't taken much economics to make a positive impression.

Financial statements

* Its hard to generalize on what you should do on these. At Harvard, for example, its always best to make it seem like you have money because their administration has a rule that they can't accept people without offering them enough money to come. As a result they often reject people who at the end of the process they would have preferred to people they give money to. At other schools, if you seem to have a lot of money it may reduce the size of the fellowship offer you get. It may also, however, increase the probability of getting accepted because a school with a few partial fellowships to offer will give them only to people who seem to have the resources to accept them.

Where to Apply

* If you are well-qualified, you should apply to all of the top-ranked economics departments (e.g. MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Chicago, Yale), and several backup schools, depending on the strength of your record. You should definitely seek advice from faculty members on this.
* If you have a somewhat weaker record, there are lots of good graduate programs out there, but you need to shop more carefully for schools that have well-known advisors or have recently been investing a lot in graduate students. Some middle-ranked schools (like recently Pennsylvania State) aggressively recruit prospective students and have placed graduating PhD students in top 5 schools by investing heavily in the students. You need to do a lot of homework, and talk to lots of faculty about good places to apply. Information about good places to go is likely to be dispersed.
* Don't overlook the small but prestigious PhD programs at business schools: Stanford GSB has a placement record that rivals the top economics departments, and Harvard and Northwestern also have programs worth looking into. These programs typically offer more individual attention and have more generous funding.

Visits and Contacts at Graduate Schools

* With rare exceptions, you SHOULD NOT initiate contact with faculty members at schools you are applying to before the admissions decisions. You will seem like a pest and like someone who doesn't understand the system. After you are admitted there will be plenty of opportunities to meet faculty. If you feel like you have an exceptional case for contacting a faculty member at another school, seek the advice of your advisor first.
* After admission you should visit your top choices if at all possible. You will learn an enormous amount then, swamping what you have managed to figure out before then.
* Talk to the students to learn how often they meet with their advisors, who is really accessible, and how the morale is among students. Some faculty do a lot of aggressive recruiting but don't spend a lot of time with their students later. The current students can tell you how advising really works.
* Anyone who tells you that one department is best for every student is not being very thoughtful. You need to determine whether a department feels right to you, and whether you feel like there are a set of potential advisors for you. Your advisor will have enormous power over your life. You need to be comfortable. Different departments have different strengths, cultures, and styles. Some fields within departments have very strong subcultures and impressive placement records. Learn about those.
* Find out about the placement records of the programs. Don't just find out about the top 5 students--find out about how number 10 or 15 in a class did. Even if you are quite certain you will be a star, it's possible you won't be the very best, and even if you are, it will be a lot more fun if your classmates aren't unemployed, despondent and neglected.



SEMOGA MEMBANTU, KALAU BISA YG PUNYA INFO TOLONG POST DI SINI JUGA
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Re: Tips buat yang berencana ambil PhD in Economics

Post by Leon-Lie on Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:53 pm

dari Blognya Greg Mankiw

Why Aspiring Economists Need Math
A student emails me a question about the use of math in economics:

Dear Dr. Mankiw,

Hi, I am an undergraduate student studying economics in Michigan. I have recently become a big fan of your blog. I found your "Advice for Students" very helpful to professional economist-wannabes like me, and especially, those considering graduate study in economics. Your suggestion on math preparation for undergrads landed me on one simple question: "Do economists really use all that math?"

I was wondering if you could tell me how closely math and the works of professional economists at international organizations, such as World Bank and IMF, are related?

I look forward to your answer. Thank you in advance!

Best Regards,
[name withheld]

A student who wants to pursue a career in policy-related economics is advised to go to the best graduate school he or she can get into. The best graduate schools will expect to see a lot of math on your undergraduate transcript, so you need to take it. But will you use a lot of differential equations and real analysis once you land that dream job in a policy organization? No, you won't.

That raises the question: Why do we academics want students that have taken a lot of math? There are several reasons:

1. Every economist needs to have a solid foundation in the basics of economic theory and econometrics, even if you are not going to be either a theorist or an econometrician. You cannot get this solid foundation without understanding the language of mathematics that these fields use.

2. Occasionally, you will need math in your job. In particular, even as a policy economist, you need to be able to read the academic literature to figure out what research ideas have policy relevance. That literature uses a lot of math, so you will need to be equipped with mathematical tools to read it intelligently.

3. Math is good training for the mind. It makes you a more rigorous thinker.

4. Your math courses are one long IQ test. We use math courses to figure out who is really smart.

5. Economics graduate programs are more oriented to training students for academic research than for policy jobs. Although many econ PhDs go on to policy work, all of us teaching in graduate programs are, by definition, academics. Some academics take a few years off to experience the policy world, as I did not long ago, but many academics have no idea what that world is like. When we enter the classroom, we teach what we know. (I am not claiming this is optimal, just reality.) So math plays a larger role in graduate classes than it does in many jobs that PhD economists hold.

Is it possible that admissions committees for econ PhD programs are excessively fond of mathematics on student transcripts? Perhaps. That is something I might argue with my colleagues about if I were ever put on the admissions committee. But a student cannot change that. The fact is, if you are thinking about a PhD program in economics, you are advised to take math courses until it hurts.
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Re: Tips buat yang berencana ambil PhD in Economics

Post by Leon-Lie on Sat Aug 30, 2008 10:56 pm

dari Blog Chris Blattman

How to get a PhD *and* save the world

‘Tis the season for graduate school applications and associated angst. Several aspiring political scientists and economists have asked me for my thoughts and advice, and I've generally started by pointing them to Greg Mankiw's excellent Advice for Aspiring Economists and Advice for Grad Students.

Mankiw's advice does not quite cater, however, to those of us that are young, idealistic, and want to pursue PhD research that makes life better for those less fortunate. For those so inclined, I offer the following addenda.

1. Use graduate school to tech up. You’ll have time to learn how save the world later, when you’re actually in it. Learn all of the theoretical, statistical and other difficult-to-acquire skills you can while in grad school, because you won’t have the time later on. You, your cause, and your job prospects will be well-served by the technical skills you build.

2. Hang in there. In the first year of any grad program you will encounter a lot of required material that will feel too theoretical, too divorced from social change, and (occasionally) like too much nonsense. Much of it is good for you (see point 1), even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. After a year of metrics and micro theory, I was ready to run to the real world to do what I thought I really wanted to do. The best advice I ever got (from one of my pre-PhD advisers) was, “Shut up and hang in there; by your second to third year you will discover all the people doing interesting applied work soon enough and be free to work on whatever you want by your third year." He was right.

3. Take chances. The second best piece of advice I ever received came from my dissertation chair, shortly after my oral examinations committee told me that my prospectus was poorly thought out, uneconomic, and overly risky. They were 100% right, and I benefitted from hearing it (although at the time I was miserable). Where I think they were wrong is that they told me to abandon my plans for risky and expensive field work. They favored the less risky route that could get me to a completed dissertation faster. My chair's response: “Hey, if you really want to do this, why not? Give it a shot. If it doesn’t pan out after three months, then come back and work on something else. Worst case scenario: you lose a few thousand dollars and a summer, but you have a great experience.” I plan to give the same advice to my students.

4. But minimize your risks by being prepared. Don’t embark on a big project, especially field work, without a solid hypothesis, research design, and plan. Think through the theory beforehand. Write down your assumptions, your logic, and your econometric regressions before you collect data. Especially write out your regressions. I am still guilty of rushing to the field too quickly, and am continually reminded of the costs.

5. Look before you leap. If you’re not sure whether you want to be an academic researcher, use your first two summers to work for outside organizations—whether the World Bank, an investment fund, the Fed, or a think tank. Try each on for size. At the end of your fourth or fifth year of grad school do not make one of the biggest decisions of your life—“what kind of job do I want?”—with oodles of information about one kind (academia) and zero about the alternatives. You don't have to be an economist to know that such decision-making is sub-optimal.

6. Your professors are not your only role models. If you are at a strong research university, remember that what your professors do is not necessarily representative of all your post-grad options. They represent maybe 1% of graduates, and they are self-selected to have a particular set of interests, life goals, and measures of success. These are not necessarily bad measures—I share many of them. But incredibly smart and interesting people graduate from economics and political science PhDs every year and go on to amazing and fulfilling careers. You will inevitably begin to take on the interests and priorities of your professors, even if they are the interests and priorities of a selective 1%. If these values don’t suit you in the end, or make you miserable, that’s okay.

7. Do what you love. You can try to game the system and do something that’s hot, conventional, or orthodox. But if you don’t love your topic and your research, it is probably not going to be interesting to anyone, let alone you. Plus you’ll be miserable. Did you really work this hard and come this far to be mediocre and unhappy?

8. Don’t hang your job market hopes on academic positions outside your core discipline. There aren’t nearly as many of them out there as you might think, and they can be hard to get. There are few policy schools, and they seem to have relatively few junior openings. Public health and other professional schools have limited needs for social scientists, and their job market system is a bit opaque. If these positions suit your interests, shoot for them by all means. But your main market will be your core discipline, so keep this in mind when you write up your dissertation, letters, and applications. For the same reason, you should be cautious about entering interdisciplinary PhD programs.

9. Be wary of big field projects. A number of leading academics (and more than a few grad students) are working on large field projects with governments, international institutions, and NGOs. Be aware that these projects—nationwide surveys, program evaluations, and the like—have limitations: they seldom implement on schedule; the research designs are not always as “clean” as what you drew on paper on Day One; and the implementing organization’s interests and priorities are often different (and probably more important for more people) than your own.

10. Don’t ask, don’t tell? Here I hesitate. If you are undecided about a career in academic research, my gut (unfortunately) tells me that you shouldn’t advertise this fact to your department until you are certain. My main rationale: some (but not all) academics will be quick to write you off as ‘not serious’, and should you change your mind later in your PhD you may find that ‘credibility’ difficult to reclaim. Certainly you should be candid with your committee about any interest in or openness to non-academic careers. They will have much advice and experience to offer. But don’t declare your intent to follow other paths if you are interested in keeping the academic route open.

All of the above represent one (new and unwise) academic’s point of view, so I urge caution in taking the above advice. I urge more strongly, however, feedback and commentary. I would like nothing more than to develop a resource of ideas and opinions for idealistic young grad students to build rather than temper their abilities and enthusiasm. So comments invited.
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Re: Tips buat yang berencana ambil PhD in Economics

Post by emon on Mon Sep 01, 2008 11:02 pm

Oi kentung thanks ya infonya.. deal

Lumayan nih jadi menghemat waktu gak usah capek2 searching2 ngakak

Btw lo tau gak tips buat ambil master of economics di luar negeri?? beasiswa??

Perjalanan mengambil PHD masih terlampau jauh (menurut gw), ada saran gak buat yang pasti2 aja, kaya ambil master gitu.. ngakak
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Re: Tips buat yang berencana ambil PhD in Economics

Post by Leon-Lie on Tue Sep 02, 2008 5:26 am

well, gue jabarin sepengetahuan gw aja yah...

setau gw kalo mao ambil master itu best di
- Canada : University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, Queen's University, University of Western Ontario, dan McGill University.

- Eropa: University of Tilburg (Belanda), London School of Economics (Inggris), University College London (Inggris), Cambridge U (Inggris), Oxford U (Inggris), Toulouse U (France), U Amsterdam (Belanda), U Carlos III (Spanyol).

- Amerika: Boston U, New York U, Duke U

di Amerika jarang ada yg nyediain program master, plg cuman 3 itu aja
selain itu kalo mao beasiswa bisa cari di luar (tanya milis IE)
tapi setiap Uni juga nyediain financial aid, tinggal apply aja

masalahnya financial aid bwt master di Amerika itu plg kering, kalo bwt PhD mereka royal
Canada dan Eropa lbh generous dlm menyediakan financial aid, entah dari pihak University maupun dari pihak government

saran gw sih kalo mao ambil master better ke Eropa atau Canada aja

btw estimasi biaya
- Canada: 7200 Can/US $ annually
- England: 18000 Pound sterling annually
- Other Europe Nation: No Idea
- America: 30000-35000 US$ annually

liat aja ke web site-nya masing2

BTW requirement utk master itu gak seberat PhD
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Re: Tips buat yang berencana ambil PhD in Economics

Post by Leon-Lie on Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:04 pm

DAFTAR PERINGKAT TOP ECONOMICS GRADUATE PROGRAM IN US

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/grad/eco/search

semoga membantu
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