The Making of An Economist

Author(s):Arjo Klamer & David Colander
Publisher:Westview Press

Graduate schools have reputations that rub off on their Ph.D.’s. Where you went to school is a signal of what type of an economist you are. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is known for attracting the best students. A Ph.D. from MIT, therefore, means something like, “Ah, she must be bright.” MIT is also known as solidly neoclassical with a Keynesian slant. Its Ph.D.’s are expected to be just that. Chicago stands for a conservative tradition in economics. Hearing “Chicago,” most economists will think, “Oh, one of the Gary Becker-George Stigler-Robert Lucas crowd.” (Older Ph.D.’s will evoke the reaction “Milton Friedman.”) Ph.D.’s from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst will bring “radical” to mind, because that is the reputation of that school. A George Mason Ph.D. will make one think “Austrian” or “public choice.”

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