The Incentives of Future Economists - Striking a Balance between Tools and Relevance
As a contribution to the recent debate about graduate education in Economics, we have surveyed all students enrolled in the Stockholm Doctoral Program in Economics. We believe that this is a good representative of a strong European graduate program which in the early 1990's adopted a US-style structure. Our results show that students enter with a relatively broad academic background and an interest in social science and real world problems, but find that incentives within the program do not encourage participation in the policy debate. To the extent that graduate school is educating idiots savants it is not because students enter with no interest. Our results are remarkably similar to those found by Colander and Klamer (1987) in their survey of American graduate students in the late 1980's.
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