AW scores are borderline irrelevant in admissions for an Econ PhD. You have already achieved a verbal score of 165 and maxed out the most important thing(your quant score). The advice you have been given is rather misleading. You are better off trying to make your application stronger in other areas (i.e research). A quant score above 165+ will get you through the first phase of the applications process and other than that it becomes irrelevant.