My optimal strategy for applying to graduate schools could have used work. I didn’t think about what subfield of economics I wanted to study. I just aimed at the top programs.
I dunno, I think it worked out pretty well. I mean, none of the top programs accepted me, but that wasn’t really the point. I mean it kind of was. And I don’t mean to engage in excessive revisionist history, or seem like a sore winner.
More than anything, my philosophy about these things is that you must push yourself beyond what you think you’re capable of. In Texas Hold’em, if you’re not being caught bluffing half the time, you’re not bluffing enough. I say if you are not failing consistently, you are not aiming high enough. You owe it to yourself and to those around you to make sure you’re always doing your best.
If you only apply to safety schools you don’t know your limits. On the other hand, if you only apply to first-tier schools, you don’t know how far down the second tier you stand. All I know is that I’m in the best econ program in the District, at one of the swankiest universities I’ve visited, in arguably the most happening place for econmic policy in the world. At least I tried, right?