The Making of a European Economist
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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.
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Chapter 11: Université Catholique de Louvain interview

David Colander


This interview was with two women and one man. One was a third year student, one was a fifth year student and the third had just recently finished her dissertation and was a post doc student. INTERVIEW How did you make your decisions about applying? I’m from Italy, and when I finished my undergraduate studies, I decided to get a closer involvement in neoclassical economics. I had to choose. On the one hand, there were the best heterodox universities to attend, such as the New School or Cambridge. On the other hand, there were the mainstream programs, and the European mainstream seemed more open-minded. It’s not yet the pure American way. It’s also cheap in Europe. The relationship between quality and cost here is good. At Cambridge or LSE, the tuition is much higher. In the US, it is also high, unless you get a fellowship. Here, all it costs is 800 euros tuition. How do you finance your expenditures? My family pays; once you start the PhD program, you get a fellowship. When I finished my undergraduate work here in Belgium, I had no clue about what an MA or a PhD was. I discussed my future with a professor and he mentioned the MA, but I wanted to study abroad—primarily in the UK—but then I found that that was very expensive. I studied six months in Belgium and six months in the UK. I went to Louvain for my Masters degree, since it is hard to...

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