Quick thoughts and advice on whether to get a PhD in economics

A friend emailed me to ask about grad school; I thought I might as well share my thoughts here too. First, I should make it clear that I basically never recommend getting a PhD to anyone. Grad school pays almost nothing, is very stressful, damages most people’s relationships, exacerbates any latent depression or anxiety issues you might have, and the only payoff is that you’ll get to learn about one or two things in intense, intense detail for years. So I emphasize the negatives, reasoning that if you can hear all the downsides and still think, “screw it, sounds like fun”… then going to grad school might be a good idea. But if I can scare you away, then you never should have tried to get a PhD in the first place.

That said, here are some more thoughts, in no particular order.

Other opinions

— Gray Calhoun, 01 Jun 2013

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