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jlist
02-24-2008, 04:18 PM
Hi Gang: I oftentimes read files and profiles on this site that are screaming out "I should be in an applied micro" program. Yet, I feel that many of you do not strongly consider applying for programs such as Maryland AREC, Berkeley AREC, Arizona AREC, etc.

As a faculty member for 5 years in such programs (1 year at Arizona and 4 years at Maryland (with one year off for the CEA), I can attest to their strength, rigor, and appropriate use of economics to tackle serious questions.

Now some of you might remark that these are inferior programs and that you will not receive proper training, or that you might be discriminated against on the job market coming from an Ag. department.

On the former, note that many of the classes that you take will be alongside Economics students. For example, at Maryland our students took all of the same core classes in micro. They also took the same core exam in micro as the econ students. Plus, even though many AREC departments will not require macro, you can also pick those up from the economics department. In short, you can take the same courses with the same faculty as econ. students in that department!

And, in many cases I would guess that the competition to get admitted to AREC departments is not as stiff as in economics. Thus, short of receiving admission to the economics department at Berkeley, what better way to have the right to take Matthew Rabin's class as a Berkeley phd than coming from the AREC side?

Now on the job market side I must admit I do see some discrimination. In fact, at Maryland I saw first hand the effect, as I had a student from AREC and one from Economics on the market the same year who were comparable and the person from Economics secured more interviews. But, with good research this can be overcome, and the AREC students was placed in the end is thriving.

In the end, I see most decisions here as revolving around an economics department at a school ranked x versus an AREC department at a school ranked y, where x>y. Some of the decisions are easy: I would certainly recommend that my student goes to Maryland AREC instead of UCF economics (they just started a phd).

My thought for the post is that I believe people are not trading off x and y on the margin correctly because of misperceptions of AREC departments. My advice is to have a stern look at some of the top AREC places and think hard about the trade-off. You might be surprised at what you find.

Best,
John
PS If you are seriously considering AREC departments I have posted on the relative rankings in the past. I will not repost here since this message is lengthy already.

fp3690
02-24-2008, 05:10 PM
This has to be the most helpful post in a very long time. The back door entry to Berkeley I've always dreamed off! I know you hear this all the time Prof List, but I have to deeply thank you. Most people giving advice around here are well-intentioned and usually correct. But there are so much information a student has, and your input is priceless.

Olm
02-24-2008, 06:43 PM
Great post! I never knew this. I'll definitely look into it...

Karina 07
02-24-2008, 06:56 PM
I'll add some information about Berkeley's ARE, in case anyone is interested:
- Students take the same pre-fall math camp, first year micro sequence, and in their second year they take one term of the first year macro. They also take 3 econometrics classes, I think one each for the first three terms. Apart from that, it's largely options, and yes, you can take classes in the econ department/an econ field.
- Students interact well between the two departments (for example, some are dating ;) ) and often go to the other department's seminars.

AspiringEconomist
02-24-2008, 09:35 PM
This is very helpful. It seems to me that the quandary AREC programs face is similar to that public policy programs have. To the extent that perceptions of their relative "inferiority" (don't mean to be harsh) persist, there will be discrimination on the labor market. It's like a chicken and egg problem: enough strong applicants need to look at these programs as serious options, before a precipitous change in the job market prospects can happen. Other thoughts?

sunny58
02-24-2008, 09:47 PM
Hi Gang: I oftentimes read files and profiles on this site that are screaming out "I should be in an applied micro" program. Yet, I feel that many of you do not strongly consider applying for programs such as Maryland AREC, Berkeley AREC, Arizona AREC, etc.

As a faculty member for 5 years in such programs (1 year at Arizona and 4 years at Maryland (with one year off for the CEA), I can attest to their strength, rigor, and appropriate use of economics to tackle serious questions.

Now some of you might remark that these are inferior programs and that you will not receive proper training, or that you might be discriminated against on the job market coming from an Ag. department.

On the former, note that many of the classes that you take will be alongside Economics students. For example, at Maryland our students took all of the same core classes in micro. They also took the same core exam in micro as the econ students. Plus, even though many AREC departments will not require macro, you can also pick those up from the economics department. In short, you can take the same courses with the same faculty as econ. students in that department!

And, in many cases I would guess that the competition to get admitted to AREC departments is not as stiff as in economics. Thus, short of receiving admission to the economics department at Berkeley, what better way to have the right to take Matthew Rabin's class as a Berkeley phd than coming from the AREC side?

Now on the job market side I must admit I do see some discrimination. In fact, at Maryland I saw first hand the effect, as I had a student from AREC and one from Economics on the market the same year who were comparable and the person from Economics secured more interviews. But, with good research this can be overcome, and the AREC students was placed in the end is thriving.

In the end, I see most decisions here as revolving around an economics department at a school ranked x versus an AREC department at a school ranked y, where x>y. Some of the decisions are easy: I would certainly recommend that my student goes to Maryland AREC instead of UCF economics (they just started a phd).

My thought for the post is that I believe people are not trading off x and y on the margin correctly because of misperceptions of AREC departments. My advice is to have a stern look at some of the top AREC places and think hard about the trade-off. You might be surprised at what you find.

Best,
John
PS If you are seriously considering AREC departments I have posted on the relative rankings in the past. I will not repost here since this message is lengthy already.
I applied to wisconsin's AAE program. Would you be able to provide me some feedback on the reputation it has in the job market or in general? I was also wondering how AAE programs compare in terms of reputation with economics programs that are ranked in the 25-50 rank. I'm more interested in working outside of academia, so that is why I was particularly drawn to AAE programs.

Thanks!

AspiringEconomist
02-24-2008, 09:50 PM
I am acquainted with some Maryland AREC folks and they seem really nice and have solid backgrounds so Jlist has every reason to be proud.

MexEcon
02-24-2008, 11:32 PM
Thank you for your advice Prof. List!

Olm
02-24-2008, 11:38 PM
EDITED: deleted at MexEcon's request.

trjohnson
02-25-2008, 01:17 AM
Hi John:

Do you have any comments on Cornell's Applied Economics and Management program? Though seemingly not an "AREC" program, do you think it compares to Berkeley/Arizona/Maryland AREC as far as quality of program/placements go?

RJ

buckykatt
02-27-2008, 09:46 PM
(Mostly just trying to bump this thread back up...)

There are some AREC programs that look pretty attractive to me, but I wonder how feasible is it to do work in areas outside resource/environmental econ proper after graduating from one of them? (Other than Galbraith, I'm having trouble thinking of economists with an AREC degree who have worked outside these areas, but maybe that has more to do with my ignorance than anything else...)

Karina 07
02-27-2008, 10:01 PM
(Mostly just trying to bump this thread back up...)

There are some AREC programs that look pretty attractive to me, but I wonder how feasible is it to do work in areas outside resource/environmental econ proper after graduating from one of them? (Other than Galbraith, I'm having trouble thinking of economists with an AREC degree who have worked outside these areas, but maybe that has more to do with my ignorance than anything else...)

Marcel Fafchamps (Oxford) did the Berkeley ARE. I actually always thought he did the regular Econ program because nobody ever told me otherwise (yes, he's done some agec since but a lot of other stuff, too. CV: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/members/marcel.fafchamps/homepage/cv.pdf ).

macroeconomicus
02-27-2008, 10:18 PM
(Mostly just trying to bump this thread back up...)

There are some AREC programs that look pretty attractive to me, but I wonder how feasible is it to do work in areas outside resource/environmental econ proper after graduating from one of them? (Other than Galbraith, I'm having trouble thinking of economists with an AREC degree who have worked outside these areas, but maybe that has more to do with my ignorance than anything else...)

International trade, I/O, development, applied econometrics, financial markets (for commodities), are among the subjects you can work with within ag.econ departments.

bertthepuppy
02-27-2008, 11:21 PM
I know an ARE from Berkeley that works at a Public Policy School now and another that works in a Public Health School joint appointment with Columbia's Economic Development PhD.

2008applicant
02-27-2008, 11:32 PM
I've been doing field RA work for the past three years and am interested in microdevelopment applied work---so far I've been accepted at Davis ARE and Wisconsin AAE, but also at Duke and the demography program at Penn. I'm not totally sure whether I want to do academia or public sector/non profit type work. I've applied to more ARE programs and population geared econ programs. Hard decision weighing the potentially "better fit" of the ARE programs against prestige...but even a prof from college who has an ARE degree is telling me to go to Duke.

sunny58
02-27-2008, 11:42 PM
2008applicant, I've gotten into wisconsin's aae phd program too. did you get funding? i got a call but was told that funding decisions haven't been made and that they didn't have much funding available this year. bleh.

2008applicant
02-27-2008, 11:59 PM
I was offered a university fellowship---stipend for the first year, guaranteed funding for four years.

octavio
02-28-2008, 12:37 AM
I was offered a university fellowship---stipend for the first year, guaranteed funding for four years.

Same here. A lot of their development research is great, but their placements look a bit shaky. Are you considering them?

2008applicant
02-28-2008, 01:52 AM
I am considering everything at this point, they have some people doing some interesting experimental work in development, but most people tell me I should choose Duke, and there are a lot of places I still haven't heard from.

DevelopmentEcon
03-04-2008, 02:55 PM
I've been watching this site for over a year now but never had anything constructive to add/ask, now that admissions have been arriving I have a conundrum!

I've been accepted to Wisconsin's AAE program as well (no funding info yet) and also to Ohio State's AED department with full funding offered and TA duties waived for the first year (possibly the rest of the time if I get a University Fellowship). I know that in general Wisconsin's Econ PhD program is ranked much better, but I never know how this relates to their Applied econ programs. I'm interested in Development (specifically regional level development in Francophone Africa) and from the websites Wisconsin looks much better... anyone have ideas on this Ohio State vs. Wisconsin dillemma?

I was also accepted to Cornell's AEM Masters program (no funding) and Penn State's Ag Econ dept (Masters with 14k funding) but don't consider them real options for me at this point because I want to go straight for a PhD. Still waiting on UIUC and Michigan State (like everyone else it seems). Any help is welcome! Thanks!

ptm
03-04-2008, 05:14 PM
I've been doing field RA work for the past three years and am interested in microdevelopment applied work---so far I've been accepted at Davis ARE and Wisconsin AAE, but also at Duke and the demography program at Penn. I'm not totally sure whether I want to do academia or public sector/non profit type work. I've applied to more ARE programs and population geared econ programs. Hard decision weighing the potentially "better fit" of the ARE programs against prestige...but even a prof from college who has an ARE degree is telling me to go to Duke.

What department at Duke (econ?), and what are you looking to do? There's a good sized group of environmental economists at Duke, but most aren't in the econ department. Check out the faculty listings for the Nicholas School, Sanford Institute, and Fuqua. There are also a bunch of folks nearby at NC State and RTI.

zwicker
03-04-2008, 06:23 PM
Does anybody have info about Purde Ag Econ. Just simple things like the direction of the program, placement, comparisons to other schools like Mich St., UIUC, etc.