Duke isn't a top 20. Michigan and Wisconson are top 20s, but both of them have the location effect. They get less applicants (usually 500 instead of 700) than other schools of comparable rank, and they have large incoming classes. Also less students matriculate and they have relatively high admissions ratios. Hence, why I suggested Minnesota, Wisconsin to the op. These were actually the schools that at least wait listed my friends coming from the lower ranked places.
Michigan, Wisconsin, and Duke
At any school outcomes often depends on the faculty commitment to undergrad. My undergrad institution I would wage places a lot worse than other schools of the same caliber. I think it is largely to do with the fact that the faculty at that school has a very poor commitment to their undergrad students. Faculty are very hard to approach for undergrads.I would also ask your letter-writers if they have suggestions for where you should apply, and where they have gotten students admitted in the past.
Even at the bottom ranked schools there are professors who are well connected or well known enough that they are known by at least one person in most departments.
The one thing is any school with a PhD program, is on the radar, and people have a perception. I would bet almost all schools with a PhD program that isn't falling part, have sent at least one applicant to a top 10 school if not top 5. Even the lowest ranked ones.
I put them 21 to 24 normally, my perception coming from my 2 cohorts from duke. I generally expect private schools to do disproportionately well on the job market, compared to job markets. LACs, and other private schools especially will have a bias in that direction. Brown does quite well doesn't it?I'd agree with dreck that Duke is a top 20. It's got some odd characteristics as far as admissions compared to similar schools, but given their placements and quality of faculty, I would place them in the top 20.
It just goes back to the ambiguous topic of "rankings." I agree with Nanashi that private schools do seem to do a little better with placements; however, in my mind, placements are a big part of what makes an econ PhD program highly-ranked. Once again, ranking schools is generally overly-subjective and I don't think we'd get anywhere with a debate of "top 20 vs. top 25." /End rant and back to the OP's profile!
Wow, look what this turned into, haha.
Thanks for the advice everyone. I talked to a few professors a while ago and they did recommend places for me to look at based on interests and contacts they had but I'm going to talk to them again soon.
I updated the first post with a list of programs that I'm looking at. Any recommendations, schools to take off or add
Thats a great mix and range. I'd be very surprised if you don't get into at least a few of those PhD programs, and you definitely manage one of those masters. The only school that seems really an outlier is Cal Tech. You didn't state clearly what your interests are? Is it pure finance? Cal Tech has no Macro.
Well do keep in mind if your interested in pure finance you probably are better off at a mid tier Finance PhD than at Econ PhD at the bottom end of top 20.
The reason being is with Finance you can move up if you do good research. The pay is much better. Your chances of getting placed into a department with a PhD program in finance with any department in the top half, is much higher than your chances of academic placement into a finance department with an econ PhD. You look like your competitive to either department. So if your decision boild down to a top 20 Econ school and a top 40 Finance School, I'd probably take the Finance PhD if I were you. I'm doing my M.A. at a masters university that is similar to your current school. We have finance PhDs that are moving up to moderately high ranking european schools provided they have a well known advisor and have done good work. Even the ones that aren't that good get better jobs than the best econ PhDs do, their starting salary is higher than most of the econ PhDs will get in 20 years.
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