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« Creative Destruction - Two Tales in Four Pictures | Main | My Exchange with Gauti Eggertsson at EJW Continues »


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Certainly our experience 25 years ago Pete was one in which we were treated as "the most junior faculty" rather than the "most senior students." That was a huge part of why, IMO, our experience was such a good one.

Well you and I were actually hired in our 4th years to be on the faculty at "Assistant Professors" --- I think that program stopped after you!!! Either the expectations were that they couldn't repeat after your great performance or that after the both of us they figured they better cut their losses!!!

I agree, not only Lavoie, but many on the faculty treated us as junior faculty colleagues very early on in our graduate education. But Lavoie especially made us feel as his colleague even before others.

At NYU we seemed to have speeded up the getting of the Ph.D. relative to our previous, perhaps longer than average, performance.

In many ways, the MA program is where the action is. It is very large. We admit about 70/80 -100 per year, not all of whom come. But a substantial number do (approx 50). And there is no financial aid for MA students. The quality of students is extraordinarily good. They could easily go the Ph.D. programs elsewhere and some do after the MA.

But many students are put off by aridity of most Ph.D. programs. At NYU we have the absurd situation of "tons" of Ph.D. only courses but relatively few Ph.D. students (20 come per year). (Not that more wouldn't come.) They are mostly non-Americans. The common language is mathematics. The result is many Ph.D. courses (beyond the required ones) get one, two, three or ZERO students.

How this makes sense financially I do not know. Perhaps NSF grants help. The university is a palace of cross subsidization (undergraduates/MAs subsidize the relatively unproductive class).

It is all quite disturbing. But it pays my salary and so forth. And it lets me specialize in classical liberalism.

I am shocked, shocked to read that Mario would sink to such cheap rationalizations, just so he can have his academic salary and subsidized faculty housing at NYU.

I know that Mario greatly admires Herbert Spencer, and Spencer was so opposed to virtually all forms of state action and spending -- including the British postal system -- that he would send almost all written communications, packages, and manuscripts by private carrier services, rather than stoop so low as to use an agency of the State.

Oh, how "weak" the flesh is!

Richard Ebeling

I guess that the greater rate of dropouts in the American PHD programs is the result of a greater degree of access in these programs by the overall population. As the proportion of the population that gets into college increases, the average quality of the students tends to decrease.

I also would like to hear from former graduates of our program if their experience after their second year conformed with what Mankiw suggests it should --- that is an experience which treats graduate students as the most junior faculty, rather than the most senior students.

Agree 100%

Pretty much across the board faculty treated us as future producers of economic ideas, rather than consumers.

Itz really shocking to read this article.... . As more number of students tend to join college,the quality outcome becomes less:(:(

After considering a variety of graduate programs (JD, MA, MPP, MPA, MBA, Ph.D.), I decided I'd be best served by an MA in economics program, given my professional ambitions. I never thought of it as a consolation prize for not finishing a Ph.D., and I would definitely recommend a similar path for others who find the economic way of thinking compelling but see a Ph.D. as an overinvestment. The GMU experience was excellent but I don't have a sense about the senior-student-vs-junior faculty dynamic.

In game publishing the majority of work is either developed in-house or commissioned, and it tends to be the case that the ideas that drive that work are internally generated. Original ideas only come from the outside if their creator has a very long track record or if the game is already a proven success in some other format.

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