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Thread: Choosing between programs (UAB/BGSE/PennState/SSE)

  1. #21
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    Re: Choosing between programs (UAB/BGSE/PennState/SSE)

    Sponsored Ad:
    BGSE econ program is an entry point to their PhD but you have to be in the top 10 to 15 spots of the class after the first term to get offered a spot in the PhD.

  2. #22
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    Re: Choosing between programs (UAB/BGSE/PennState/SSE)

    Quote Originally Posted by davidschindler View Post

    This is because the heterogeneity in faculty quality in the US is very large across schools, but small within departments, while in Europe it is often small across schools but can be large within departments. In Europe, there are many places who are extremely good at subfield x, while subfield y is really sub-par. This may seem to rank the European place low on average, but you shouldn't forget that they have top people in one subfield. If that's your subfield, bingo! Penn State is obviously a better choice for you then if you think the risk of your research field changing is large.
    I didn't consider the US vs Europe question in this light. Thank you so much for your contribution to this thread. Not only is this very helpful for me, I think it will help future applicants as well. As someone else mentioned, this forum is extremely helpful but currently it has only piecemeal information about European programs.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidschindler View Post
    If you get admitted to Tilburg and need to make a decision between Tilburg and other places, let me know. I'm a faculty member there and happy to provide insights (with the usual disclaimer of course that personal opinions may be biased).
    I will definitely get in touch if I get through. Thanks again!

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    Re: Choosing between programs (UAB/BGSE/PennState/SSE)

    Quote Originally Posted by ftcrazyft View Post
    BGSE econ program is an entry point to their PhD but you have to be in the top 10 to 15 spots of the class after the first term to get offered a spot in the PhD.
    I had similar information from elsewhere. The cost of the program is too high. Right now I can't even consider taking a chance on this, regardless of how good the program at UPF is.

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    Re: Choosing between programs (UAB/BGSE/PennState/SSE)

    Quote Originally Posted by davidschindler View Post
    A few points from my perspective as well:

    * It is true that salaries in the US are 2x those in Europe (with few exceptions). But it is also true that the cost of living in the US is significantly higher. Having lived in the US and in Europe, my feeling is that there isn't much of a difference in terms of purchasing power parity adjusted consumption possibilities. (Remember, things like child care, health insurance, pensions, education costs are often coming out of your salary in the US, while they are often provided for free in Europe.)
    I find the cost of living in the five states I've lived in the US and my home country (Ireland) to be very comparable.

    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.

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    Re: Choosing between programs (UAB/BGSE/PennState/SSE)

    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.

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    Re: Choosing between programs (UAB/BGSE/PennState/SSE)

    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.

  7. #27
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    Re: Choosing between programs (UAB/BGSE/PennState/SSE)

    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.
    Congratulations anyway!

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    Re: Choosing between programs (UAB/BGSE/PennState/SSE)

    Quote Originally Posted by RosaZeng View Post
    Sorry I did not see your question. I think Warwick is better in Micro/ game theory.
    Congratulations anyway!
    Thank you!

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