First of all I am glad that I found this forum while just searching all the random questions that come to my mind in this "decision time" of my life where I am. Those sticky threads (with the FAQs) and all that where really helpful and made me clarify some things. However, I would also like to post my personal question if you don't mind, so I can introduce a bit my doubts and receive your advice.

I am a 23 years old Economist from Argentina. Iíve finished this year my Licenciatura (4-year undergrad program) being the 2nd GPA of my class, and I am really passionated about doing research and policy design and evaluation on Poverty issues. I am actually fascinated about the work that Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee do at MIT and J-PAL, and my dream would be to pursue my PhD at MIT having them as professors.

I am now looking for a Master in Economics that I guess will make it easier for me with the PhD application. As an undergrad I did a semester at a German University, and liked a lot germany and Europe as well, thatís why I would love to spend my 2 years of Master there. But, as much as I would love to live in a pretty place and enjoy, I donít want that to erode my PhD chances,. So I am asking for advice about where (country, university, department) in Europe would be the best (or worst) place for studying prior to aplying for the PhD at a top US university.

Thanks a lot!!