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Thread: Business programs that are related to Finance

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    Business programs that are related to Finance

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    Some business schools offer phd programs in real estate, insurance and risk managements etc. What prospects are these fields? When they get out, do they get the same treatement as finance phds? It seems they have their own journals. Because the competitions are lower (fewer to publish), it is easier for folks in these fields to publish? As such, easier to make tenure if do get placed?

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    Real Estate would give you an opportunity to get a position in Finance department. Good real-estate programs are at Berkeley and McCombs. Insurance and Risk would probably place you in the Management Science / Operations Management department instead of the Finance department. The academic salaries would be about 30% - 40% lower than the Finance professor salaries. In industry positions, the Finance PhDs would typically earn 2 - 3 times more than the Risk / Insurance / Management Science PhDs, even though those salaries are also quite high. This is of course assuming that the Finance PhD is working as a strategist / research / stat arb role in a hedge fund. I am not quite sure what the Risk function does in the banks, but I do know that the salaries and bonuses are significantly lower than the FO people.

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    Real estate is not a bad option for finance. Similar pay. Less competitive. And easier to publish since they have their own specialty real estate journal.


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    Quote Originally Posted by upstreamer View Post
    Similar pay.
    Really? I've heard otherwise..

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    real estate is more like the econometrics field in a way, from what i hear: the best people publish most of the papers. so it might be relatively top heavy.

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    They have their own journal though some do publish in journal of finance.because real estate phds are minority compared to other business discipline, doesn't make it easier to publish?

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    Quote Originally Posted by upstreamer View Post
    They have their own journal though some do publish in journal of finance.because real estate phds are minority compared to other business discipline, doesn't make it easier to publish?
    Depends...
    Quote Originally Posted by Indus
    Till you feel reasonably enthusiastic about the research area. It is entirely possibel to do a bad PhD at a great program. If you are not motivated by the research area, you would have a hard time finishing a PhD.
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    Quote Originally Posted by upstreamer View Post
    They have their own journal though some do publish in journal of finance.because real estate phds are minority compared to other business discipline, doesn't make it easier to publish?
    not necessarily. any assertion of that would at best be a qualified one. the competition might be less in absolute terms, but how many top tier journals are there in real estate or insurance/risk?

    let's use real estate as the base field of comparison. for example, if there are 500 top finance faculty fighting for 3-4 top tier finance journal (and a sprinkling of econ journal) publication slots, how is that necessarily worse than say, a 100 top real estate researchers fighting for 1 top tier real estate journal (apologies, i am not entirely in the know) and a sprinkling of econ and finance journal publication slots? it is not clear that these comparisons based on just the absolute size of the competition is useful or even valid, and even more so if we have to consider how often a particular journal publishes per year, the number of articles published per issue, and various other factors. as you mention, there are also cross field publications like finance in econ, psychology in econ (kahnemann, anyone?). based on my minimal research experience in real estate as a research assistant for a finance faculty looking at housing mortgages, there is a quite a bit of work by sociologists, lawyers, and the like popping up in real estate journals, too.

    and if the top people in real estate (like susan wachter, perhaps?) take up the bulk of the good publication slots (if i am actually informed correctly), that might make it even harder to publish, since reputational capital may become a more important factor. it becomes more of an all-in bet to me, and i would venture that that makes it harder for an average researcher.

    not to mention that the number of publications is just only one aspect of the tenure process, and that not all publications are worth the same in the eyes of fellow faculty or the tenure committee. for example, for a person in finance like myself, if i was given a choice between a jpe or qje publication and 3 jfqa publications? the former, (almost) without question. publications are not always good, as it depends on what institution you are aiming to get tenure at. tenure is not simply a numbers game.

    and going by that logic (if i would be allowed to take some liberties here), then the finance profession could be considered a minority compared to the econ discipline. the finance discipline also has their own journals, although there are finance faculty who publish in the jpe, qje, econometrica, and the like. but it can go in the other direction, too - what's stopping econ faculty from publishing in jf or jfe, really? does that make publishing in the finance area easier than econ? who knows for sure? there are too many variables to keep track of to make a persuasive generalisation that works for the easier tenure argument. so, to answer the question of "doesn't that make it easier to publish?" - hell no, not necessarily. you might say that this rewording or substitution of words leads to a different argument, but to me, it is logically equivalent.

    keep in mind, however, that the in and outs of a real estate phd are far less open, since it is less "popular" - or at least, we do not see as much discussion of it online. so we do not know for sure. for example, there is no readily available real estate or insurance/risk phd employment/salary data that we can use as a basis of comparison. i wonder how many standalone real estate business school faculty departments there are in america, especially since texas and unc-chapel hill (and others) have real estate centers rather than departments, and the associated faculty at these centers are largely lecturers, adjuncts, or professors in the finance, econ, or other departments, or have phds from non-real estate programs. that appears to be the case at the wharton real estate department as well, as far as i can tell. additionally, one of the two assistant profs there has no publications, but has revise and resubmits at the res and the jpube, which aren't exactly real estate journals per se, which might (or might not) signal that tenure journal preferences in a top real estate department are not on the side of the real estate journals. the wharton risk department might be different.

    hmm... i don't know much, but i am yet to be convinced of the comparable pay argument, or even of the "easier" tenure argument, especially if there aren't many specialised positions, a large number of cross field competition faculties, among other reasons. we would also have to take into account the strengths of the real estate or insurance/risk phd programs, and the recent placements of those programs to get a clearer idea of the standing of these programs in comparison to finance. i would certainly not dare to say that the pay or employment prospects are comparable yet.
    Last edited by frayed; 07-06-2012 at 09:58 PM.

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