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Thread: PhD in Managerial/Business Econ - Understanding the stream

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
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    Question PhD in Managerial/Business Econ - Understanding the stream

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    Hi All,

    I wanted to understand how different is the selection process & research for Business PhD in Managerial Economics versus getting into an Econ PhD. Need a better understanding for a couple of reasons:

    1. Though my core interest in Developmental Econ & Public Policy, my profile won't get me into a Top 30 (or 50 School). Going through research areas of profs and PhD students at Kellogg/Ross/Harvard - it aligns pretty well with what I would like to do (A lot of interesting areas with respect to institutions, countries, political science, decision making and more).
    For e.g: At Northwestern, there is Phd in Developmental Economics, and the MECS program at Kellogg lists Developmental Economics as an active research area.

    2. How/what can I do improve my profile to get an admit - I don't want this to become a profile evaluation but want tips what one should do to get into such a program, I currently have:
    • MBA from IIMA (top B-school in India) - I was in the top 15% of the batch but no masters/bachelors in Econ
    • A grades in Economics related courses (except in Macroeconomics - I & never took Econometrics course)
    • A good reco from a Harvard Econ Phd - did a Developmental Econ project under her in IIMA
    • Planning to take RAship under an Econ prof for 18 months (10 months when I apply to colleges for Fall 2020)
    • No other significant research credentials - one paper during undergrad in a low impact journal & currently in Digital Sales for a Technology firm for last 3 years
    • Do courses from Coursera built credibility



    Thanks. Your inputs will be helpful as I'm planning to apply next year (not this season)

    P.S: Apologies if I'm breaking any posting guidelines - Did read through them and didn't find anything out of place here. Also, not a lot of information on Business Economics & Strategy programs (neither here nor in the PhD in Econ sub forum)

  2. #2
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: PhD in Managerial/Business Econ - Understanding the stream

    The econ subforum can answer your direct questions a little better than us here. Generally, the business econ programs at those schools are slightly more competitive because the pay and treat students a little better.

    You don't mention math. That is a big component. If your undergrad isn't very quantitative you will probably need to add on math coursework.

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    Re: PhD in Managerial/Business Econ - Understanding the stream

    Explaining my maths courses becomes a little tricky coz it doesn't neatly map into the US system, but let me take a hack at it.

    At undergrad, three math courses (6 months each) - Calculus, Engineering Mathematics - II & III; This broadly covers Calculus - I & II, Linear Algebra, Polar Coordinates & a little bit of Statistics - Top 2 grades in all of them (the equivalent of As)

    At postgrad, three courses of Statistics - Probability & Statistics I, II, III - A in two of them, B in one of them. And there were quite a few math-based courses such as Decision Making, Labour Markets, Business Research Methods, Impact Evaluation

    In Summary: My maths history is good but mostly engineering maths. Also, to the evaluation panel - it might not be very clear what I've done and what I haven't.

    Was I able to explain it in a manner that made sense.

    @Mods: If this thread makes more sense in PhD in Econ - can it be shifted there

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    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
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    Re: PhD in Managerial/Business Econ - Understanding the stream

    If you went to an IIT and did well in the math courses, you're probably ok. I have heard from people with similar backgrounds that they aren't used to the proof-based mathematics that you need in econ courses.

    I recommend reposting this in the econ subforum. The mods tend to be subforum specific, so most of them can't move stuff from one to another. It's also not a violation of policy or general behavior to do so.

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    Re: PhD in Managerial/Business Econ - Understanding the stream

    Thanks for your inputs. It is assuring. I'm not from an IIT - but my college consistently ranks in top#15 in India.

    Have also posted it Econ sub forum

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