srijeda, 27.01.2010.

Invazija europskih ekonomista

Odličan članak o europskim ekonomistima na američkim fakultetima. Svakako preporučam pročitati svakome s interesom za temu (istina, to neće biti veliki broj ;-), a počinje zanimljivom činjenicom:

One-third of the faculty of Harvard University’s economics department hails from Europe. At the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, half of the finance department’s faculty is European.

Zašto Amerika, a ne Europa?

Getting a doctorate in her native Belgium was unappealing, she explains, because students were left on their own, with little academic support or oversight; many Ph.D. candidates she knew became discouraged after a few years and gave up. In the U.S., by contrast, the university was geared toward the student. Professors were approachable; research facilities, including libraries, were first-rate; and financial and other assistance was readily available.

Posao poslije doktorata?

Nor did Europe offer much appeal once the doctorate was in hand. Zingales tried to return to Italy in 1984, after completing his degree at MIT, but the best job offer he could get was a mediocre research assistantship at a second-rate university. Twenty years later, he might have won tenure at the school, he says, but only if he had the right connections. Even the best Italian universities—and this was true of European schools in general—were dominated by autocratic and hierarchical traditions.

Eh da, koncentracija talenta je velika komparativna prednost!

Another comparative advantage of top-tier U.S. departments is their comprehensive quality. “There is not one field,” says Alesina, “where you could not meet a leading expert right there on campus.” This holds only for the leading schools, of course—maybe 20 have reached the critical mass of students and faculty to cover the whole range of economic research—but for fertile concentrations of talent, nothing beats them. Small wonder that since 1980, 39 of the 47 Nobel Prize winners in economics were professors at American schools.

Doduše, triba se stalno truditi :-)

Academic life in the U.S. is determined by competition at all levels, he adds. “It’s often said that American universities recruit only the best among the Europeans. I would say instead that we become better because we are immersed in permanent competition. I would have been better at what I do if only I had come earlier to the U.S.”

Iz osobnog iskustva, ovo je u Europi (odnosno kod nas) točno tako.

One more benefit of American universities is competent administration. Economists don’t require equipment as sophisticated as biologists’ or physicists’, but they do need working computers. “When my computer is down at Columbia, it gets repaired in an hour,” Chiappori tells me. “In Paris, it would take a month.” Efficient management also helps secure the research grants that are seminal to cutting-edge academic work. “In France, I could get grants, but it would require weeks of bureaucratic work,” he explains. “In the U.S., one can focus on the substance of the research request, and the administration then takes over and smooths the bureaucratic process for you.”

No, nije sve tako crno i Europa “pokazuje zube”:

The leading American universities may have the edge that Chiappori and others describe, but they are losing it,” Hellwig claims. A well-regarded scholar of monetary and financial institutions, Hellwig has decided to leave UCLA and return to Europe—not to his native Germany, however, but to Toulouse University’s department of economics in southern France. “We Europeans look at a global map,” he says, “and we see new centers of excellence emerging in Europe, though not necessarily in our countries of origin.”

No, ima tu još problema …

“It will take years before European universities can really compete,” he says. “The mistake in Europe is to try to improve mediocre existing universities,” Zingales believes. “It would be more efficient to create brand-new elite institutions.” But this would collide with the European passion for equality, which has kept universities open to every student, regardless of ability, and made “selection” a dirty word—a major stumbling block on the path of higher academic achievement.

Kako kažu, read the whole thing ….

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