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I was in a similar situation as you - accepted MRes Tilburg (partially funded), at CEMFI (fully funded) and MSc BGSE(full waiver + yet unknown scholarship), all economics. I have been wondering a long time about those and I eventually turned Tilburg down. Today I emailed Antonio Ciccone from BGSE about some further details and here is what he replied about a prospective second year of studies in BGSE:
I also asked him whether one can leave after the first year of PhD towards some other program:
While the MAS program will be discontinued, there is now a 1-year Master of Research program that allows students to follow all PhD courses (which was not the case with the MAS) and has a lower tuition fee than the MAS.
Funding of the second year is based on the performance in the MSc Economics. In a typical year, 12-15 students get funded in form of a teaching or research assistantship.
I hope that gives you some clue, but indeed I think a MSc in Tilburg does not provide any bright chances of a future top US PhD.
Yes, there is always a group of students that take this course and this is absolutely fine from our program's point of view.
Student that come to the BGSE/UPF with the goal of doing a PhD elsewhere usually do that with a goal of eventually entering the top PhD programs in the US. Most students going to the UK from the BGSE/UPF go there because they are not admitted to the UPF PhD (there has been at least one exception as far as I know, a student who left for the LSE).