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View Full Version : Why is Duke the standard backup?



Olm
02-01-2008, 08:42 AM
After doing my initial research, and after reading these forums for a few months, I found that most strong candidates pick Duke as a backup. It also seems to be on the list of schools that most TMers apply to. Can anyone think of a reason why? I would be thrilled to get in there and it's actually a reach for me, but I am just curious as to what people think about this.

constrainedoptimizer
02-01-2008, 09:01 AM
After doing my initial research, and after reading these forums for a few months, I found that most strong candidates pick Duke as a backup. It also seems to be on the list of schools that most TMers apply to. Can anyone think of a reason why? I would be thrilled to get in there and it's actually a reach for me, but I am just curious as to what people think about this.

I can totally relate to this. Most of the schools I am praying to gain admission to seem to be the TM safety net(work).

loudandclear
02-01-2008, 01:56 PM
My adviser suggested that I apply to Duke because he thinks that it's a much better school than the rankings suggest, so if you didn't get in to any of your other choices, you'd still get a top rate education.

econphilomath
02-01-2008, 02:14 PM
My adviser suggested that I apply to Duke because he thinks that it's a much better school than the rankings suggest, so if you didn't get in to any of your other choices, you'd still get a top rate education.

Heard the same many times...

YoungEconomist
02-01-2008, 03:07 PM
I would be thrilled to get in there and it's actually a reach for me

Yeah, Duke is going to be one of my reaches as well. I imagine so many people apply there because it's a really great program, so it appeals to some as a backup, others as a targe, and some as a reach.

Nalfien
02-01-2008, 03:10 PM
Duke is a great school and is certainly top 15 worthy, at least. They have been hiring lots of amazing people lately and have an extremely strong applied group of guys as well as a very good finance group. Just last year they picked up Duncan Thomas, Joe Hotz and Hanming Fang who could almost be a department by themselves.

But the thing is it is fool-hardy to consider Duke a back up as they are very picky and like to have a high yield and as such will reject many good applicants that they don't think will go to their school. Also they have a policy that is you do well enough in the courses you get to skip the prelims...

I think I would have been very happy to have ended up there

econphilomath
02-01-2008, 03:14 PM
Are they not loosing Martin Uribe and S.Schmitt-Grohe ? That would be an important blow to macro at Duke.

Ricardinho
02-01-2008, 03:15 PM
Just got my rejection from Duke :(

filroz
02-01-2008, 03:35 PM
Just got my rejection from Duke :(
me too :yuck:

loudandclear
02-01-2008, 03:36 PM
How did you find out? By email?

the_asker
02-01-2008, 03:37 PM
That's too bad, Ricardinho. They sent it by e-mail? Where did Duke rank among your preferences?

Ricardinho
02-01-2008, 03:46 PM
Yeah they sent an email, saying the decision is available online. Duke is a top school, like many others have pointed out already, so I would really have liked the chance to go there. Oh well......

Olm
02-01-2008, 05:30 PM
Also got my rejection from Duke. :(

I guess until I find a time machine that I won't be able to go anywhere decent.

filroz
02-01-2008, 05:36 PM
Do you think that we got through the first cut of that was announced somewhere here, or that we did not and it was just some processing delay?

Olm
02-01-2008, 05:45 PM
We need to wait a few days to be sure, but I'm not feeling optimistic about my chances at all if I did not survive the first round of cuts for a school ranked in the 20s or 30s.

Mr.Keen
02-01-2008, 09:03 PM
Are they not loosing Martin Uribe and S.Schmitt-Grohe ? That would be an important blow to macro at Duke.

Are you saying this based on Tattonment´s info or you heard it somewhere else? I am certainly worried about that. They are great people to work with.

polkaparty
02-01-2008, 09:06 PM
Do you think that we got through the first cut of that was announced somewhere here, or that we did not and it was just some processing delay?

Yeah, what is going on, it seems like rejections are trickling out, rather than coming in a wave. My guess is that there was a single first round cut and the administrative process of sending notices is causing the trickle. Of course that means no one can be sure that they actually survived the cut at this point.... I guess it's best just to wait until the very end.

the_asker
02-02-2008, 12:03 AM
Yeah, what is going on, it seems like rejections are trickling out, rather than coming in a wave. My guess is that there was a single first round cut and the administrative process of sending notices is causing the trickle. Of course that means no one can be sure that they actually survived the cut at this point.... I guess it's best just to wait until the very end.

Does it really take that long to send notices? I'd rather believe that I survived two cuts. Anything to appease my troubled mind. This February will be something else...

econphilomath
02-02-2008, 12:47 AM
Are you saying this based on Tattonment´s info or you heard it somewhere else? I am certainly worried about that. They are great people to work with.

Hmm yea, but those kinds of rumors spread like wildfire...:D We were talking about it at lunch at work! On monday I will ask a guy whose friends with them if he knows anything about it. Maybe Mr.Keen might know something since he gave us some inside info on Duke a couple of days ago...:hmm:


Also...The trickling rejects from Duke is inhumane. There should be some sort of human rights law against adcom sicological brutality. Like rules of war, no torturing, slow deaths etc.

Golden Rule
02-02-2008, 01:08 AM
Are you saying this based on Tattonment´s info or you heard it somewhere else? I am certainly worried about that. They are great people to work with.
I can tell you from the labor demand side that Columbia is desperate to hire senior macro profs. The number of students demanding advising in Macro exceeds faculty to the point where even associate profs. are turning away students. Columbia has not been successful in its offers to senior macro profs in recent years, so I would suspect these Duke profs have been given generous offers.

Mr.Keen
02-02-2008, 01:45 AM
Hmm yea, but those kinds of rumors spread like wildfire...:D We were talking about it at lunch at work! On monday I will ask a guy whose friends with them if he knows anything about it. Maybe Mr.Keen might know something since he gave us some inside info on Duke a couple of days ago...:hmm:


Also...The trickling rejects from Duke is inhumane. There should be some sort of human rights law against adcom sicological brutality. Like rules of war, no torturing, slow deaths etc.

I could ask them directly but I do not want to come across as too pushy. In November I saw Stephanie and I was telling her that they were the main reason I was applying to Duke and she said I should not go to a school just because of a couple of professors because people are always on the market.
Prophetic advice ?...:hmm:

econphilomath
02-02-2008, 06:16 PM
I'm not sure that that is conclusive evidence because that is standard advice. However if Tatonment said so, I would be inclined to believe it.

AstralTraveller
02-02-2008, 08:09 PM
In November I saw Stephanie and I was telling her that they were the main reason I was applying to Duke and she said I should not go to a school just because of a couple of professors because people are always on the market.

Well, my reason for applying to Brown, despite its institutional quality and prestige, is Frank Kleibergen. Don't know if I would have chosen it without him.

It was a similar situation for a friend that I don't believe would have applied to Duke if Tauchen and Bollerslev were not there.

Just my :2cents:

TruDog
02-02-2008, 09:18 PM
You never want to choose a school based on one person. If that one person leaves (as we've lost two good ones in Samuelson and Manuelli in the past two years), that's not good news.

OneMoreEcon
02-02-2008, 09:53 PM
I'm not feeling optimistic about my chances at all if I did not survive the first round of cuts for a school ranked in the 20s or 30s.

None of you should read too much into an early rejection from Duke. For at least two years on this board, many people with extremely strong profiles were among the first rejects from Duke. Going along with the thread on why everyone applies there, it seems that the ad com at Duke is well aware that it needs to target its admits very carefully. My guess is that they reject strong profiles that (i) they know will go somewhere "better" or (ii) do not seem like perfect matches for the department since these people will get admits from similar schools that are a better match and thus turn down Duke's offer.

Basically, I'm just saying that Duke's early rejects are not a good predictor on the rest of your results. So, try to relax a bit.

Ricardinho
02-02-2008, 10:33 PM
Thanks OneMoreEcon!!! I sincerely hope that's what's going on......

jazzcon
02-03-2008, 12:47 AM
I second OME. I know Duke rejects who are currently at top5 programs.

Valhalla
02-04-2008, 10:04 AM
My guess is that they reject strong profiles that (i) they know will go somewhere "better" .

But I thought that universities can re-adjust their offers if some of the admitted students take different offers? I thought it would be reasonable to admit people with strong profiles in the beginning - hoping that at least some of them take the offer - and if some of them reject their offer, the university under concern might still take students "waitlisted" or rejected in the first place... so rejecting someone because you anticipate that he/she doesn't come to your university (because this student has such a stróng profile) doesn't make any sense right?

macroeconomicus
02-04-2008, 10:13 AM
Some top 5 programs do not offer funding to some of their admits (MIT, Chicago) while I believe Duke funds everyone. So it is conceivable that getting into Duke (with funding) is more difficult or about as difficult as getting into some higher ranked programs without funding.

semischolastic
02-07-2008, 10:39 PM
Duke is a program which is aggressively trying to move itself into the top 10, which you can see from their recent hiring strategies. Programs like that try to recruit interesting people, pick up "diamonds in the rough", that might get passed over at other schools. They also have a habit of rejecting students who they think will get in elsewhere, so that they can be more aggressive with their funding. And they fund practically everyone. So don't feel too bad not getting in there.

macroeconomicus
02-08-2008, 12:00 AM
It seems like Duke's top job market candidate this year, Denis Nekipelov, has received invitations to something like 10 top-20 departments, many of them are top-10 schools actually (Princeton, Berkeley, Stanford GSB, Penn, NYU, UMN, Columbia, etc). Very impressive. This man will probably score a great placement for Duke's record.

pevdoki1
02-08-2008, 12:26 AM
Wow, this guy has a shitton of publications for someone just finishing their PhD.. it seems like the new economic school produced some really top people. it's fun to look at their placements: some go to penn state, some to minnesota, some to duke...