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Columbia vs Northwestern vs NYU
I was accepted at Columbia and Northwestern PhD in Economics and I am waitlisted at NYU. So at this point, I am deciding between Columbia and Northwestern, but still considering NYU in case of getting off waitlist. I will really appreciate for any opinion of which place seems as the best place to go. My research interests are more inclined towards financial economics and micro theory (where I know NWU has a strong tradition), however I am opened to other fields, so I am looking for the best overall department (any opinion regarding this I will appreciate it a lot). Also, I will like to go to the place that maximizes the chances of getting a good/decent academic placement (placements seem similar for the three programs, but maybe someone has a different opinion).
You should pick the program that best fits your research interests (which you mentioned) and provides a good supporting environment for students. At that level, your placement outcomes are largely the same between these schools. You could end up at MIT, or Amazon, or somewhere in the middle. What matters now is picking a program that will allow you to write the best dissertation possible. Talk to students at both schools, especially in your fields of interest. Do faculty give them the brush off (esp if they aren't a top tier student)? Do they get to spend time talking with faculty about their work and getting feedback often? Do they feel like they are being trained/mentored?
I don't work in your fields of interest, so I can't opine much more. But I'm trying to tell you how to evaluate the problem.