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 9: Stockholm School of Economics 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 interviews with Stockholm School students. The first interview was with a woman from Eastern Europe and a man from Sweden. The second interview was with a female Swedish student and a male student from another European country. INTERVIEW 1 How did you end up coming to Sweden? I did my undergraduate degree in economics in the US. Then I worked at a consulting company for a year. I applied to a variety of graduate schools, and this was the best offer I got. Initially I did not expect that I would continue teaching. Instead, I expected to go to an international institution such as the IMF or the World Bank. I only applied to the two schools in Stockholm because I had family reasons to live in Stockholm. I was considering other European universities. How did you judge among the different European universities? I followed standard reputation and talked to my adviser. By reputation, I’d say Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, LSE, UCL [Université Catholique de Louvain], and the Stockholm School of Economics rank in the top five in Europe. In some of them, however, you had to take a Masters program before entering the PhD program, and no one could give you guarantees about entering the PhD program. [Editor’s note: that has since changed at many schools.] Here you did not. I heard that in one school only about 30 percent of the students actually pass the PhD program mainly because the school does not have room for...

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