I can actually confirm the underpaid part from personal experience. I worked as a "research associate/associate economist" at an economic consulting firm for two years prior to starting my PhD. This is basically a glorified "industry RA." During my time there, I was making roughly 60-80k, and even more with bonuses. It sounds like from what I have heard from people working as Fed RAs and elsewhere, the pay is probably between 20-50k as chateau suggests. I think pre-doctoral RA-ships can pay less because they are offering the valuable but less tangible benefit of furthering your career towards an econ PhD program, where as my industry job probably did very little for my application.
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)