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格里高利·曼昆
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法学博士VS哲学博士:我的故事

(2008-02-02 05:48:57)
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给学生的建议

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Sunday, June 04, 2006
JD vs PhD: My Story
法学博士VS哲学博士:我的故事
liyiru2_b翻译

http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2006/06/jd-vs-phd-my-story.html

A student emails me a question about my offbeat journey through higher education:
一名学生通过电邮询问我本人不规则的高等教育情况:


Prof. Mankiw, Love
the blog, I've recently become hooked. I noticed you mention in an
earlier post that you spent one and a half years at Harvard Law School before switching to economics and earning your PhD. I guess I'm in a similar situation now....

亲爱的曼昆博士:
我最近迷上了您的博客。我注意到您在前段时间的一篇文章里提到,您在哈佛转向经济学并拿到博士学位之前,曾经花了一年半的时间在法学院学习 。我想我现在和当时的您处在相似的情况下……

Anyway, I wanted to ask what ultimately compelled you to pursue economics instead of law, as I've been toiling with that decision myself. Did you intend to do a joint JD/PhD and focus your research on law and economics, or did you decide to leave law school entirely? I'm passionate about both fields and took a risk averse application strategy by applying to both types of programs, but most of the input I've received has been from those who abandoned economics to finish their law degree, not vice versa. If you
have any input or advice you could share, I'd be grateful.
Thank you, best regards,
[name withheld]


无论如何,因为自己在艰难地考虑这个决定,所以我想问:是什么最终迫使你转向经济学而不是法学。您当初是想要拿到法学和哲学的双博士学位,将研究主要放在法律和经济上,还是完全地离开法学院?我对这两个领域都很热爱,并且采取了一个逃避风险的策略:同时申请两种课程。但大部分建议都是来自那些放弃经济学转而完成法学学分,而不是反之。如果您有任何可以分享的建议,我会非常感激。谢谢你,至上诚挚的问候。
[隐藏姓名]

Let me start by summarizing my own education and early career:
让我们从概括我自身的教育情况和早期事业开始:

  • June 1980: Graduated with A.B. from Princeton
  • 1980-1981: First-year PhD student at MIT
  • 1981-1982: First-year student at Harvard Law School
  • Summer 1982: Worked in law firm as summer associate
  • 1982-1983: Took year off to work on the CEA staff
  • 1983-1984: Back at MIT, finished PhD
  • Fall 1984: Back at law school, finished fall semester
  • Spring 1985: Taught micro and statistics at MIT
  • Sept 1985: Joined Harvard econ faculty as assistant professor
  • 1980年6月:从普林斯顿大学毕业,拿到文学学士学位
  • 1980年至1981年:麻省理工学院一年级哲学博士
  • 1981年至1982年:哈佛法学院一年级学生
  • 1982年夏:在一家法律事务所做暑期工作
  • 1982年至1983年:休了一年假,为经济顾问协会(Council of Economic Advisors)工作
  • 1983年至1984年:回到麻省理工学院,完成了博士学位的学习
  • 1984年秋:回到法学院,完成了秋季学期的学习
  • 1985年春:在麻省理工学院教授微观经济学和统计学
  • 1985年9月:以助理教授的身份加入哈佛经济学教师的行列


All
this looks random and disjointed, and to some extent it was. But I look
back at this period of my life as a time of experimentation, when I was
trying to figure out my own tastes and talents. A large part of early
life is trying to find your niche in the world. Open-mindedness and
experimentation were crucial for me, and I believe they are for many
others as well. That will mean some false starts (like spending a year
and a half in law school), but those false starts are part of a process
of learning about yourself.To get back to the specifics of the
question: My observation is that students who start both a JD and a PhD
in econ are much more likely to finish the JD than the PhD. (A related
observation is that those who finish both degrees are more likely to be
law professors than econ professors.)For most people, a JD is
the easier degree to finish, as it is all course work, and it takes
only three years. A PhD is typically five or six years, the second half
of which is devoted to original research. By comparison to a JD, a PhD
is a long, hard slog. That does not mean it's not worth it: some long,
hard slogs end up passing a cost-benefit test. But it does require a
greater degree of commitment and enthusiasm on the part of the student
to finish the degree.My case is somewhat abnormal. During my
period of experimentation, I learned that I was only a middling law
student. By contrast, I got my PhD with only two years of residence at
MIT. (I turned back the third year of my NSF fellowship to the US
taxpayer, but I won't claim any altruistic motive in doing so--I just
didn't need it.) In the fall of 1984, I found myself a so-so
second-year law student with a PhD under my belt and a small but
growing list of academic publications. It finally dawned on me that my
comparative advantage was econ, not law. Remembering the irrelevance of
sunk costs, I moved across the parking lot from the Harvard Law School
to the Harvard economics department, where I have now been on the
faculty for over twenty years.

所有的这些都看上去很偶然,让人无法将它们联系到一起。某种程度上也的确是。但现在回顾人生中的这段时期,我把它当作尝试找到自身爱好和才能的试验期。少年时光的大部分时光是用来寻找你在世界上合适位置的。开放的思想和实验对我来说至关重要,并且,我相信它们对于其他大部分人来说也一样。这意味着一些错误的起点(比如:在法学院花了一年半的时间),但这些弯路帮助你认识自身。回到问题上来:我观察到同时开始学法学和经济学的学生们更多的是拿到法学博士学位。(一个相关联的现象是完成两个学位的学生更多地成为法学博士而不是经济学博士。)对于大多数人来说,法学学位是一个更容易完成的学位,由于它只需要3年去完成全部课程。一个经济学博士则大体上需要五至六年,而你会用其中的后半段时间来做原始研究。和法学学位相比,经济学是漫长艰苦的过程。但这并不意味着它不值得:一些漫长艰苦的努力最后得到的效益会很好。可是对完全学业的学生来说,这的确需要更大程度的责任心和热情。我的个人经历是有些不大寻常的。在我“实验”的阶段,我察觉到我只是一名中等的法学学生。与此相反的是,我在麻省理工学院只花了两年就拿到了经济学博士学位。(在得到来自美国国家科学基金会奖学金的第三年,我把它还给了美国的纳税人们。但我不会声称我这么做多么的无私——我只是不需要了。)在1984年秋,我发现自己是一个中等的法学院二年级学生,拥有博士学位和数量逐渐增加的学术出版物。我渐渐了解:相对来说,我的强项是经济学,不是法学。想起经济学中沉淀成本的枝节问题,我从哈佛法学院转到了经济学部,并且当了20多年的教员。

Update: After reading this post, one of my law school teachers emails me: "too modestly, you described yourself as only a so-so student. I recall you as far better than that."It is nice to hear that I was a better law student than I recall being. In any event, while in law school, I decided, rightly or wrongly, that I had more natural ability in econ than law. I suspect that, while paying the law school's tuition, I spent more time writing econ papers for academic journals than studying the law books. That fact made me realize I was probably sitting in the wrong building on the Harvard campus.Update 2: More on my story.

更新:一名法学院教师同仁在读完上面的文章后寄了封电邮给我:“你把自己描述成一个一般的法学院学生实在是太谦虚了。我记得你当时比一般的学生要好很多。”听见我当时比记忆里的自己优秀是一件开心的事,无论如何,我在法学院做出了正确或者错误的决定是:我在经济学上的天赋要高于法学。我怀疑:当付着法律学学费的时候,我花了更多的时间为经济学术期刊写论文,而不是学习法律相关书籍。这个事实让我意识到我可能在哈佛校园里坐错了地方。

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