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 8: Bocconi 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


There are two Università Bocconi interviews. The first is with four students and the second is with three students. Two of the students are in their second year, three in their fourth year and two in the fifth year. They are a diverse group, and include two Italians, Latin Americans, Western Europeans, Eastern European, and Asian students. INTERVIEW 1 How did you get here—both in economics and at Bocconi? I did my Masters in my Eastern European home country. I was thinking of going to the US since as an undergraduate I was an exchange student in the US for a year, and I really liked the style of education. However, when I had to decide I decided I’d prefer to be in Europe than the US. I was studying in Germany and met a professor who was from Bocconi. He is the reason why I decided to come here. Bocconi is well known in Italy, so I came here after my undergraduate studies. After I did a Masters in Latin America, I looked for some good political economics programs. Bocconi was one of those; I applied and got a fellowship here so I decided to go. How big are the fellowships? Fellowships are about 600 euros a month. The first year, since you can’t teach, it is tough getting by on that, but in the second year it gets a bit better since you are able to teach. Are you representative of your class? The student body is...

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