Originally posted by Palynka
In a thread created by you in IIDB I realized that I have very similar goals for my career to the ones you had. Why did you drop them in favour of research?
PS: And what's with all those smileys you use there?
Well the one beating himself against a wall is pretty self-explanatory.
You mean working for the World Bank or the IMF?
Two effects I think. First, research just sort of grew on me. When I entered the program, I would read titles and abstracts of papers and I thought that a lot of the research sounded incredibly dull. Once I gained the knowledge to understand what those papers were talking about, I found them really interesting. Plus I ran into some one doing work that I found fascinating and promising. So now I'm interested in dynamic public economics/macroeconomics. I'm working on a model with wealth and income heterogeneity and idiosyncratic and aggregate risk which cannot be completely insured against. Agents use capital and labor hours to partially self-insure. In addition, an income tax is determined by universal suffrage that which allows agents to smooth consumption, but also distorts labor and savings decisions. I get to model inequality in serious manner which I like, and I am learning some computational work from a very strong teacher. I'm loving it.
The other effect is not so positive. I don't know if you have experienced it where you're at, but in my program there is a very strong bias toward research. Jobs with government, private sector, liberal arts, and non-governmental organizations are looked down upon. It's hard to work with an advisor who you really admire and who helps you learn so much and then take a job that you know will disappoint them.
Fortunately, the first effect is stronger than the second.