Sponsored Ad:
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: PhD in Accounting vs PhD in Econ

  1. #1
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    14
    Rep Power
    1


    Good post? Yes | No

    PhD in Accounting vs PhD in Econ

    Sponsored Ad:
    Hi guys,

    I want to know how a PhD in Accounting differs from a PhD in Economics in terms of coursework, research methods and placements? My interest lies in taxation which is common to both Accounting and Economics. As per my understanding, Accounting has traditionally concerned itself with more of the business oriented and institutional aspects of taxation (eg mergers, acquisitions, transfer pricing etc), econ usually looks at economic phenomena like tax incidence, incentives for compliance, optimal taxation, salience etc. However, my impression is that these boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred and it is possible to do an Accounting PhD which is heavily economics focused in terms of coursework content (economic theory, econometrics) with the benefit of strong institutional focus. Is this understanding correct? The reason I ask is because some top departments (such as MIT's Accounting Group or Wharton) have remarkably little information on the structure of a PhD in Accounting in terms of coursework, what the degree entails etc. Is it possible to take classes in the economics department for instance? How much traditional Accounting material does the coursework contain? How much Finance coursework? And while the intake is way lower in Accounting compared to Econ, the placements at some of the top places seem to be very very good. Does it make more sense then to pursue a PhD in Accounting instead of Econ?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Within my grasp! BrazilianPhD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    222
    Rep Power
    3


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: PhD in Accounting vs PhD in Econ

    I'm not an accounting guy, so I can't answer most of your questions. But I have taken several courses in the economics department, and the Accounting PhD students also took some of those courses with me (like Quantitative Economic Analysis, and Econometrics) as well as some courses I didn't take (things like Microeconomics, if I'm not mistaken). So, at least here it's possible (and common) to take classes in the economics department.

    And from my experience so far, each PhD student follows a different structure regarding coursework. Even if we are students in the same research areas, our research interests are different, and then we take different courses, for example. Maybe that's one of the reasons many universities do not make the coursework structure clear.

  3. #3
    Eager!
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    72
    Rep Power
    2


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: PhD in Accounting vs PhD in Econ

    The job market for accounting PhDs is much better than econ PhDs.

    Given that you have managerial and financial accounting, there is a lot of flexibility in what you can pursue. If it were me (and this is not my field BTW), I would pursue accounting UNLESS I had a much much better offer from econ (e.g. a top 10 econ phd vs #75 accounting ...)



    Quote Originally Posted by kc87 View Post
    Hi guys,

    I want to know how a PhD in Accounting differs from a PhD in Economics in terms of coursework, research methods and placements? My interest lies in taxation which is common to both Accounting and Economics. As per my understanding, Accounting has traditionally concerned itself with more of the business oriented and institutional aspects of taxation (eg mergers, acquisitions, transfer pricing etc), econ usually looks at economic phenomena like tax incidence, incentives for compliance, optimal taxation, salience etc. However, my impression is that these boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred and it is possible to do an Accounting PhD which is heavily economics focused in terms of coursework content (economic theory, econometrics) with the benefit of strong institutional focus. Is this understanding correct? The reason I ask is because some top departments (such as MIT's Accounting Group or Wharton) have remarkably little information on the structure of a PhD in Accounting in terms of coursework, what the degree entails etc. Is it possible to take classes in the economics department for instance? How much traditional Accounting material does the coursework contain? How much Finance coursework? And while the intake is way lower in Accounting compared to Econ, the placements at some of the top places seem to be very very good. Does it make more sense then to pursue a PhD in Accounting instead of Econ?

    Thanks

  4. #4
    An Urch Guru Pundit Swami Sage
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1,289
    Rep Power
    14


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: PhD in Accounting vs PhD in Econ

    Accounting coursework usually includes the micro and econometrics series from the econ department. Some departments actually have a specialized micro class for the business school that is a little less rigorous. I view that as a good thing. If you were doing tax you could take a tax seminar from the econ department if it is offered. Also, you will usually take most of the Finance sequence as well. I did seminars in corporate finance and asset pricing as well as an econometrics type seminar for the finance students. Finally, you will take several seminars in the accounting department. These will probably include capital markets, theory, behavioral accounting, or others depending on the school's specialties. You will not learn anything about the tax code like you would in a master's level class. You can take that on top of the other coursework, but most people doing tax come in with decent knowledge of the code.

    Placements are significantly better than econ when coming out of an accounting department of similar rank. However, if you want to end up in an econ department do econ. If you want to end up in an accounting department then do accounting.

  5. #5
    Trying to make mom and pop proud
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    14
    Rep Power
    1


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: PhD in Accounting vs PhD in Econ

    Quote Originally Posted by YaSvoboden View Post
    Accounting coursework usually includes the micro and econometrics series from the econ department. Some departments actually have a specialized micro class for the business school that is a little less rigorous. I view that as a good thing. If you were doing tax you could take a tax seminar from the econ department if it is offered. Also, you will usually take most of the Finance sequence as well. I did seminars in corporate finance and asset pricing as well as an econometrics type seminar for the finance students. Finally, you will take several seminars in the accounting department. These will probably include capital markets, theory, behavioral accounting, or others depending on the school's specialties. You will not learn anything about the tax code like you would in a master's level class. You can take that on top of the other coursework, but most people doing tax come in with decent knowledge of the code.

    Placements are significantly better than econ when coming out of an accounting department of similar rank. However, if you want to end up in an econ department do econ. If you want to end up in an accounting department then do accounting.
    Thanks for your insightful comments.

  6. #6
    Eager!
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    33
    Rep Power
    7


    Good post? Yes | No

    Re: PhD in Accounting vs PhD in Econ

    Quote Originally Posted by kc87 View Post
    Hi guys,

    I want to know how a PhD in Accounting differs from a PhD in Economics in terms of coursework, research methods and placements? My interest lies in taxation which is common to both Accounting and Economics. As per my understanding, Accounting has traditionally concerned itself with more of the business oriented and institutional aspects of taxation (eg mergers, acquisitions, transfer pricing etc), econ usually looks at economic phenomena like tax incidence, incentives for compliance, optimal taxation, salience etc. However, my impression is that these boundaries are becoming increasingly blurred and it is possible to do an Accounting PhD which is heavily economics focused in terms of coursework content (economic theory, econometrics) with the benefit of strong institutional focus. Is this understanding correct? The reason I ask is because some top departments (such as MIT's Accounting Group or Wharton) have remarkably little information on the structure of a PhD in Accounting in terms of coursework, what the degree entails etc. Is it possible to take classes in the economics department for instance? How much traditional Accounting material does the coursework contain? How much Finance coursework? And while the intake is way lower in Accounting compared to Econ, the placements at some of the top places seem to be very very good. Does it make more sense then to pursue a PhD in Accounting instead of Econ?

    Thanks
    I can't speak to the structure of an econ PhD, but in most (not all) empirical accounting PhD programs (will be a little different if the program focuses on behavioral methods) you'll take ~4 econ classes (2 stats/econometrics courses and 2 microeconomics courses) and ~4 accounting research seminars. Beyond that, it's common to take finance seminars depending on how research interests overlap. While not common, it wouldn't be odd at most places for you to take additional econ classes if they interest you. One thing to keep in mind though, regardless of accounting or econ, your classes will be research based and not institutional or practice based. For that kind of knowledge you can sit in on masters level courses or even law courses if they are available.

    Outcomes, for both placements and research, will be dramatically different. For accounting, if you go to a top-75 program and do decent you're almost guaranteed (>95%) to land a tenure-track job somewhere. The 'quality' ('prestige, teaching loads, research support, etc.) of the placement can vary noticeably so it's important to look at very recent (last ~3 years) placement records. For econ, it's a whole different world with a lot of people who want a tenure-track job not getting one (and having to teach more for lower compensation). However, it's possible that you could still research tax outside of academia with an econ PhD (think tanks, etc.) where doing so with an accounting PhD is unheard of (because of the historically good academic job market). Also, if you land an accounting academic job you'll be teaching accounting (probably tax) instead of econ. Take that into consideration as that will be a large part of your job!

    Research wise, I can't speak a ton to the econ world except to say that, as you mentioned, the type of tax research being done is different. Accounting tax research has been more business-based largely due to data availability and the taste of the field, but I think that's starting to change a little. Econ tax research tends to be more macro (and sometimes theoretical) in scale. Those are broad generalizations for sure, and will probably change over time.

    Personally, I would recommend an accounting PhD unless, as StrategicMGMT said, the quality of the programs you get into are drastically different. That being said, (a) I'm biased since I got an accounting PhD and (b) it's really important that you pursue a path that you'll enjoy as it will be a long road.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-01-2017, 08:20 PM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-15-2014, 06:40 PM
  3. Econ phd entering Accounting Job Market????
    By Econorom in forum PhD in Business
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-29-2013, 12:36 AM
  4. Canadian MA Econ as prep for Accounting PhD
    By MountainKing in forum PhD in Business
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-17-2012, 03:56 AM
  5. Accounting PhD Evaluation (background: Math/Econ)
    By agent007 in forum PhD in Business
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 08-31-2011, 05:31 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •