Moreover, to the extent that something is "free" in Europe, it is being paid for by higher taxes. In addition, child care is not provided for free in many European countries and likely not to those making 60,000+ euros. The US offers generous child tax credits and allows for child care expenses to be paid from pre-tax salary. Kindergarten (age 5) and above is public and free, same as in Europe. Given most academics won't have large families, it is hard to see this making much of a difference overall.
Health insurance for academics is very generous and paid for by the university. Public pensions are "paid for" by individual contributions to "social security." Private pensions, in a University, are a fringe benefit, again paid by the employer. Yes, salaries in the US would be higher if the employee got the cash instead of these pensions and insurance benefits but the salaries are still 2x european salaries even without these benefits. Lastly, almost every school offers free tuition to the college-age children of their faculty. This is a huge benefit.
TL;DR : Faculty in the US get a ton of perks and fringe benefits (insurance, pensions, free tuition for family) that might actually make the difference between US and European salaries even larger after adjusting for taxes and cost of living.
I am reviving this thread to ask for advice on choosing between Warwick and SSE (both funded), for micro/game theory. I have received contradictory viewpoints from my peers and faculty advisers, and any input from members of this forum will be deeply appreciated. Thank you.
I can comment regarding BGSE. From my own experience as an MSc student there, I really dont recommend that. The chances of getting from there to a top PhD (or even a decent place like Penn State) are almost non-exist. I know a lot of people that before the program thought they going to be placed at top schools but after they saw the system from within, they realised that they literally destroyed their chances of getting to a decent school for PhD. Faculty mostly interested in promoting locals and the level of organisation of the program is really a joke. Moreover, despite having good faculty, it seems that UPF PhD isnt so attractive at all. Funding is low, work load (TAing) is very high and the program lack attention and guidance from faculty (inside information from people there). I would definitely pick a funded offer from SSE or unfunded from Penn State over BGSE.
I would advise you not to choose BGSE since you already got a Ph.D. offer. Let me break down the question: given you choose BGSE, you will only be in Barcelona for a year. It's expensive. and you must apply before the end of the first term. Therefore, having one more MSc degree without a decent transcript will not add your profile too much. If you don't get a decent grade in Barcelona, chances are that next year you might get lower ranked school.
I personally really like training in Barcelona. It's challenging indeed but also rewarding.
For me, I got the admissions to decent schools in continental Europe. But the value-added of BGSE is still not clear yet.
Sorry I did not see your question. I think Warwick is better in Micro/ game theory.
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