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alphatrunks's Achievements


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  1. Did all of you get invited to the visit day?
  2. Where I am at, students interested in econometrics or microeconomic theory often take graduate probability/measure theory/functional analysis from the graduate math core. They usually spread these classes out over the first two years (measure theory and graduate probability are almost substitutes, so students often take just one). I myself can't recommend taking a graduate probability course highly enough, but it might not be "pay off" practically if your interests are very applied. The great part about being a grad student is that you can take courses that interest you without worrying about trying to "game the system" in order to boost your GPA, since grades rarely matter. Of course, if you have high stakes qualifying exams coming up, then you should just focus on those courses and delay taking math to your second year.
  3. This person was rejected at Stanford. I can't convince you otherwise without doxxing the person. I'm sure there would be more acceptances tomorrow; rejections would probably arrive later. EDIT: I was rejected at Stanford as well. I'm treating Michigan as an implicit rejection.
  4. Student at HYPSM; predoc at HYPSM; Nobel laureate letter writer. Not majored in econ or math. Very strong though.
  5. I can confirm that the Gradcafe Michigan admit is real. It's someone in my predoc cohort.
  6. It's always useful to have a letter from a professor at the program who can contextualize your grades; after all, admissions committees usually care about your relative performance (i.e your rank in a comparable cohort) rather than absolute performance (your grades). Ideally this letter would come from someone who can speak both to your research ability and your performance in coursework (so someone you took two or more classes with, and wrote a thesis under).
  7. I would echo startz's concern about doing them both at the same time. If you are simply trying to optimize your chances of getting into a top Econ PhD, you should do the EME and try to do really well in it. Bear in my mind, the EME is really hard! I am not sure why you have such a precise prior on your abilities, so much so that you believe you will be near the top of your class (unless you have some really high quality signal on your quantitative exam-taking ability, such as a Putnam fellowship). But even if your true type is such that you will land near the top of your class, I find it hard to believe that you could do so while simultaneously undertaking a rigorous degree program in Math!
  8. I don’t see why you need to complete two master’s programs. Doing well (near the top of your class) in the EME should be sufficient to get admitted at least to LSE with funding, which is a top 10 school if you go by placements. I agree with ahududu that fretting about top 5 is pointless, and I have gotten the sense that seats in top 5 programs can be filled almost exclusively by people connected to “top 5 mills” like Opportunity Insights, Gentskow-Shapiro, or NBER (Harvard/MIT predocs). If you do a predoc at a top 10 school, your expected outcomes should be somewhere in the top 30; however, if I really did well in LSE EME I would simply take the LSE offer and roll with it! It’s about as good as it can get in that scenario.
  9. @startz how do professors on admissions committees like yourself feel about candidates with predoctoral publications, especially top fields and top 5s. These usually tend to be coauthored with faculty and also supported by a letter (which is of course usually extremely positive) but I'm wondering whether publications have value added independent of the letter of support that comes along with it. I'd also be curious to hear whether you have seen applicants with sole authored publications in reputable journals.
  10. You said your predoc led to a publication. Does this mean you're a coauthor?
  11. Bayes, I don't want to get drawn in an unnecessary fistfight over this but I know several predocs at top 10 who take Real Analysis for the first time as predocs. Top 10 PhDs are far far harder to get into than predocs, partly because until recently predocs were largely restricted to domestic students (MIT SEII still might be restricted to domestic student). The inelastic supply of international students, along with their vastly superior preparation in terms of coursework (they often have taken the entire PhD core), means that domestic students are forced to exploit their comparative advantage in applied research. Often, this means less focus on math and more on actually doing RA work since early in undergrad. In fact, at my predoc, most predocs are not sufficiently well prepared to take PhD level first year courses (and in fact mostly opt to take 2nd year courses). There are a large number of incentive issues too here, because often not taking PhD micro is better than taking it and not getting an A. See here the people taking MATH 301 are predocs taking analysis for the first time. One person is taking grad micro for credit out of 30. [ATTACH=CONFIG]7276[/ATTACH] Also, yes, I don't believe it is worth it to go to schools outside a certain range as they just become a way to exploit cheap labour from grad students via teaching assistantships. You want to have fun teaching intro micro while taking a full load of grad courses just so you can get your meager 15,000 stipend go for it. But don't sell these idealistic pipe dreams to people, where they slave away for 5 years at a program only to get jobs they could have had with a bachelor's degree. Frankly, you sound like a bitter and jealous person by insinuating than I am not a predoc; I don't have anything to prove to you or anyone else and I am just offering a pathway for people who didn't go to Ivies as undergrads to get into predoc positions. I didn't go to an Ivy or a top 15 phd granting school (I went to a top 15 LAC) and I got into a predoc just fine. If any curious person reading this really wants to verify my credentials they can do so by messaging me and I'd happily tell them who I am.
  12. As for advice on applying to predoctoral programs, the fact is that you will end up applying to pretty much all of them in sight. However, you can "optimize" your placement outcomes with a few heuristics: try to pick faculty who are established scholars (with top 5s), even if they are at slightly lower ranked schools over APs at top schools. Try to pick *projects* where you have an absolute advantage in some aspect of the project, not just a comparative advantage. Such projects often involve heavy computational component, interacting with proprietary server backends (such as projects that require use of Facebook data; see the work of Michael Bailey, Johannes Stroebel and Theresa Kuchler), and use of machine learning methods where RAs quickly become indispensable. Of course, pick projects that you are actually interested in for the most part; you want to be able to write credible cover letters for these positions. The tasks you will get if you hear back would depend on the type of position: reduced form/applied micro type positions usually have a Stata/R exercise where they make you clean some data, figure out some specifications, estimate these, and report back with tables and figures. I haven't seen what data tasks for structural work looks like (even though my current position is in structural); some people in my cohort were asked to submit SQL code samples and MATLAB samples from existing projects. These could include code for dynamic programming (so like value function iteration), or discrete choice demand models in the BLP style (some IO people at Yale look for this). For theory, you usually get a problem set that depends on the field you are applying to work in. Theory positions are rare.
  13. God sometimes you guys give such silly advice! I personally know someone from American who got into Berkeley with a similar profile. The marginal cost of applying to another school is negligible and the benefits are large. I don't know what you consider top 25 material, but I am at a top predoc and am familiar with the profiles of students at both Stanford and Yale's predoctoral programs and they place fairly well; you guys love to claim that predocs are pure selection and zero treatment. Well then, OP has a chance!
  14. Not sure what your priorities are but your profile seems primed for a full-time research position (provided that your "historical economics" paper was an empirical paper that used historical data a la cliometrics rather than a history of thought type paper) at a top 10 predoc (I am at one with a similar profile to yours). This would open the door to top 20, and even top 10 PhD programs, provided you do well and get superb letters. Of course, you may not want to spend one or two years as an RA and may want to start a PhD right away, in which case you should apply widely. You should sprinkle some top 20 schools (and maybe a few top 10s) because the expected marginal benefit far exceeds the marginal cost, even with the low probabilities of getting in.
  15. I'm really surprised your first round of placements were so poor; I personally don't think it's worth it go to schools outside the top 30 or so as the opportunity cost can be particularly high (especially for an American). What is the rank range of your small LAC?
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