The Making of a European Economist

The Making of a European Economist

David Colander

David Colander’s highly original and thought provoking book considers ongoing changes in graduate European economics education. Following up on his earlier classic studies of US graduate economic education, he studies the ‘economist production function’ in which universities take student ‘raw material’ and transform it into economists, In doing so he provides insight into economists and economics.

Chapter 6: LSE Interviews

David Colander

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of education, history of economic thought, methodology of economics, teaching economics, education, economics of education, teaching and learning

Extract

There are two LSE interviews. Each interview is with three male students. The students are from a variety of countries throughout Europe and one student is from North America. INTERVIEW 1 Do you consider yourselves a representative sample of the students here? As a group, we’re not too bad. None of us are English, which is consistent with the student body. But by subject, we’re missing a theoretical econometrician. We have three men here. Is that representative of the student body here? In my year there was a 50–50 split. That’s quite unusual. I would think that in the entire PhD program, there are about 25–30 percent women. In Track 2, there are many more men than women. Would you think I would get different results if I had women here being interviewed? I suspect you might, but I have no idea what they would be. I have seen no gender difference in the type of issues students complain about. How did you each get into studying economics? I studied industrial engineering in my home country before I came here, and that was 20 percent pure economics. I found that the issues that were raised were very interesting, and tools that were used to answer questions were interesting. At first, I tried to get into a PhD program in my home country, which at the time seemed like the option to take. But I chose LSE because it was considered more valuable internationally. I have been quite happy...

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