I don't usually like "tell me what to do with my life" posts but some of you may be able to offer some insight.
I am an older student. Significantly older than most here. I could not easily relocate for grad school (at least without getting a divorce!). And there are no PhD econ programs near me. So I compromised. I applied and was accepted to a (mid ranked) marketing PhD program though I had the grades, test scores and other stuff to probably be accepted to a top 20 or so econ program.
I am interested in Behavioral Economics, Experimental Economics, Consumer Behavior type work. The marketing program will allow me to work in this area, and there are advisers with Econ PhDs and profs in the econ department (which only offers bachelors and masters degrees) doing work in areas I enjoy and could be part of my committee.
So -- for you econ folks and others who are in marketing or inter-disciplinary programs (decision science, etc.)
1. Can you really do "econ" work outside of an econ department? (I know Kahnemann won a Nobel prize without taking an econ course - but is it possible for us mortals to be taken seriously?)
2. How do you learn good economics if you aren't in an econ program? I feel like (with a BA and an MA in econ) there's so much I don't know. Not just more rigor in micro theory and stuff - but coursework in experimental and behavioral. Is this even taught in PhD programs? Or is it gained by working with advisers, readings, seminar courses, etc.? It seems like some of this can be self-taught, but I am concerned about doing this while doing my other coursework and research at the same time.
3. Is it wise, or even at all beneficial to publish in econ journals? Or am I restricted to business (marketing) journals. Do marketing departments, etc. frown on publishing in economics literature? Do you only get "credit" for publishing in business journals?
On the plus side, I didn't have to move, (or pay alimony), the program is thrilled to have me, I have a lot of latitude to do research in areas I want, it's fully funded, 4 years to a PhD, and their placement is pretty good.
On the flip side - I feel like I sold out on my passion, won't learn much more econ except on my own, and I am driving myself nuts wondering if this was a bad decision.