Can't you enroll in a Master to take PhD level courses? What's your GRE quant score?
Forget about applying this year. Prepare yourself to apply next year.
Look at where past graduates have gone on to, from your alma mater. If there's no one who broke into top 10, realistically, you can't expect any different, unless you were an anomaly during your undergrad (top of cohort, or something like that). Next, did you get a distinction in your masters at LSE? If so, look at whether past graduates from that programme ever got into economics PhD programmes. It's highly unlikely that the masters will be viewed favourably (more so since it wasn't awarded by the Economics department), but at least a Distinction is better than nothing. Note that schools explicitly mention on their websites that they only view pure economics masters favourably, and heavily discount even applied economics masters, unless you provide them with a complete syllabus vouching for its rigor.
One thing you must always remember during the admissions process. Almost everybody who's seriously applying already have good math & econ grades and decent letters. Having those doesn't make you special. You need fantastic letters from renowned faculty to make an impression. This usually comes from a good RA stint somewhere, prior to admissions.
Also, it helps if you adopt the format for posting your profile here, since many will definitely be deterred by the wall of text in your first post.
I was thinking of working and taking the 8 or so math/statistics courses I need part time and then applying next year. To get into a masters in eco I need more maths so I figured Iíll just take entry required PhD math classes instead and go straight to a PhD.
You need some kind of a back-up plan in the case that you can't handle the math. Suggestions:
(1) don't expect to leave your job; try to get some kind of contract/extension that could possibly be abrogated if you get into a PhD program.
(2) Look out for master's in public policy programs; because they're paid programs, they're much easy to get into, and you'll likely get into one of the top MPPs because you have strong work experience in development. And if you still want to do a PhD in econ/development after a master's in public policy, there are good options.
Thank you so much for your detailed message. When you say no math background do you mean no postgraduate math background? Because I have a math background from undergrad where I took about six math/stat classes and excelled in them.
Yeah Iím applying for other jobs so I have a longer contract as I try out the math classes.
Math background here is referred to very specific courses:
(2) Intro to Proofs
(3) Real Analysis
(4) Linear Algebra with an emphasis on proofs
(5) Multi-variable based Statistics & Probability
These courses should be at the minimum sufficient to survive first Econ PhD year coursework.
If you want to be even more competitive or prepared people also take (although not necessary):
Courses relating to metric spaces, topology
Real analysis II
Since you don't have calc II under your belt; your other six math/stat classes for that matter are probably high school stats/math at best. They won't give you a strong backbone and certainly do not count as what you might call a math background.
Hope that helps.
Math courses, for most intents and purposes, refer to undergraduate courses. You almost never need any graduate-level mathematics for most fields in economics.
Why not list the classes you've taken, and the grade obtained? Your original post is a long mess.
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