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Thread: Ph.D. in Economics at Bocconi. Questions!

  1. #1
    TheGuest
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    Question Ph.D. in Economics at Bocconi. Questions!

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    Does anyone have an informed opinion about the Ph.D. program in Economics at Bocconi? Are the professors committed to its success?
    It seems they are hiring very good professors, but i have heard that the Ph.D. is not as good as it could be (considering the quality of its faculty). is this true?
    One more thing: they will be admitting 32 students this year. Isn't this excessive?

    A positive sign: unlike other years, they published their results (almost) on time.

  2. #2
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    No informed opinion, just what everyone knows: good professors (maybe similar to a top 20-30 US university), not so good program.
    As in every place: try to be the best to catch the attention of the best.

    Don't know anything about the amount of students, but check they admit jointly for both PhD in Economics and PhD in Finance.

  3. #3
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    Hi everyone,

    In my view, the PhD at Bocconi is getting better and better. Indeed, the faculty has finally committed to improve to quality of the PhD a couple of years ago, and results are slowly showing up. Overall, I would say that Bocconi may aim to be one of the Top Five PhD programs in Europe - though I cannot be that confident on such a claim, of course!

    The intake of students is increasing, thanks to increased funding. Last year, the admitted students with funding were 15, plus some admitted without funding. This year the number should be 16 or 17, with some more advantages for the non-funded admitted students. These are overall admissions, for both the Econ PhD and the Finance PhD. Usually, the Econ class is a bit larger, while the mean number of students for each year is around 12 (not all the admitted students do continue on the next year! But mainly it is not of problem of failure rate. Rather, it is because the first year in particular is very hard, so it happens that some drop out).

    The 1st year is basic: you have the standard three sequences, as is it in any other PhD program. However, Econ students take the sequence of Macro, while Finance students take the sequence of Finance. The remaining two sequences, Micro and Econometrics, are taken together. Overall, I would say that the Macro/Micro sequences are much better than the Econometrics sequence, which is relatively weak. Indeed, it is not the field where Bocconi is strong - though applied microeconometrics (development and political) and applied time series (in finance) are not that bad at all. But you get in contact with some very good Professors, such as Pavoni, Marinacci, Battigalli, Monacelli, Favero, and so on.

    The 2nd year is improving a lot. Now you have to choose two sequences (out of five: macro, micro, political&development, econometrics, finance) plus to choose four courses (to make up a whole sequence = four exams for four terms). This is a clear sign that the School is getting serious about the PhD program. Indeed, a few years ago, there was no such a second year, as the course were much less (both for quantity and for quality). Again, you have some very good professors to get in contact with: La Ferrara, Perri, etc.

    Then, it's up to you to produce a good job market paper. In the meanwhile, you can attend a lot of seminars, since Bocconi invites a lot a good professors from around the world talking about their research. With "good" I mean MIT and Harvard as well. For instance, this year we had Gali, Helpman, Rubinstein, and many others. Then, you may want to do some TA-ships or RA-ships and there are funds to go to other universities worldwide (if it may happen to be useful for your research. We are PhD students, not undergrad who enjoys their exchange programs. So it is not that important to go visiting Harvard for a semester: sure, it's exciting and it happened, but don't expect a big return from that.)

    Finally, Milano is a nice city. Don't expect the Californian weather, of course, but the city is very international, compared to any other Italian city, with services, events, and so on. And the Bocconi buildings are very new and comfortable.Overall, I confirm that Bocconi's PhD is one of the top choices in Europe.


    * Disclaimer: I am a PhD student in Bocconi, as you may have guessed! So, I might be biased in my opinions, but at least I should be informed about the program!

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