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The greatest economic challenge; SOP for Ph.D. in Economics


Econbd 1 / -  
Nov 6, 2013   #1
Hi everyone,
The following is the first draft of my SOP for applying to a Ph.D. program. I'm applying for next fall and I have really short time in my hand to arrange everything. Please give me some good advice and suggestions on how I can improve my Essay. Thanks in advance for all your suggestions.

"Economics is the study of how scarce resources can be used efficiently to fulfill unlimited needs"-a very simple definition having an enormous meaning which probably very few branches of knowledge have. In a country with more than a thousand people living per square kilometer and struggling to provide food security the above definition offers itself as the greatest challenge faced by the policymakers.

Being a student of science major until secondary level I was intrigued by scientific logic. It amazed me to think how scattered pieces of logic when put together can provide the basic principles on which the nature is moving. My first attraction towards research was born while doing lab experiments for my high school projects. Starting from mixing different chemicals with each other to understanding the properties of light by experimenting with prism I found research to be creative. Since then I wanted to be involved in research to explore and create something new which I could call 'my own'.

When I was first introduced to Economics at my undergraduate level I knew nothing about the subject matter except that I had the sufficient mathematical background to study the subject. As I progressed with my studies to my surprise I found out Economics to be as logical as pure science. It caught my attention how the very principles of rationality, efficiency or equilibrium that result from human behaviour can be violated due to lack of information by human themselves. I was amazed to see how everyone starting from a child to a grownup is trying to move up their indifference map for greater satisfaction and how the whole economy with a large population is on the struggle to move towards steady state where most people don't even know what steady state is.

Being born in Bangladesh I grew up in a country submerged in high poverty and unemployment and struggling to stand still under the weight of its own population with an insufficient resource base. Moreover stagnant industrialization, endless corruption and vulnerability to natural disasters have crippled its growth process. With a desire to study these problems from a closer perspective I found Economics to be the ideal subject that could equip me with the appropriate knowledge and tools to make me competent enough for making my own contribution in solving them. With this motivation in the heart during my undergraduate and graduate studies, I tried to equip myself with rigorous courses on Mathematics and Econometrics to enhance my ability of economic analysis.

However I found International Economics to be particularly interesting as it deals with some key issues comprising trade and commerce which influence the trading partners both at macro level and micro level. The enormity and the significance of this specific field caught my attention during my graduate studies at W University. While reading about the impact of trade on renewable resource stock, the Environmental Kuznets Curve or the North-South trading arrangement and welfare I found each topic to be amazingly relevant in the context of Bangladesh. This finding led me to pursue higher studies on International economics to understand more deeply what trade patterns and policies Bangladesh should undertake to accomplish sustainable development.

For a small open economy like Bangladesh international trade policies have a huge impact on shaping the growth process. Preferential Trading Arrangements like SAFTA can have significant impact on Bangladesh. It would be interesting to know if PTAs like SAFTA are liberalized more with a common monetary policy to transform into an Economic Union then what impact it would have on the poverty situation of Bangladesh. Common consumption pattern of this region can stimulate competitiveness through economic union creating potential for more intra-industry trade. Moreover, a regional integration can initiate trading of resources in the energy sector like hydropower, natural gas and coal which can boost the growth process of the trading countries. Although the strained political situation of the countries might make the liberalization process difficult yet a common currency and free labour movement can have significant impact on poverty situation. Issues like imposition of property rights on renewable resources like fishery is another area that needs careful attention for Bangladesh to benefit from trade as a small country.

Working as a faculty at present I feel the urge to introduce the students to the linkage of economic theory with the real world. At the same time I still consider myself to be a budding economist who is at best able to relate the economic problems with the causes but not yet capable enough to deliver a solution. To nurture my dormant potentials for emerging as an adept economist I need to equip myself with resourceful training from an effective research hub. Hence I made the obvious choice to get admitted into a Ph.D. program. I believe your program has the diversity and adequate resource to prepare myself aptly for that endeavour.

I hope to get an excellent command over econometrics and game theory to be able to analyse the effectiveness of different trade policies as well as recommend efficient strategies with which Bangladesh can gain from trade. Post-graduation I would like to do independent research on academic field as well as continue to teach economics.

One of the key reasons for me applying to this school is the versatility of research interests of its faculty members. This diversity will give me the opportunity to think out of the box and help me explore my potential. I'm confident that, if given a chance to study at XYZ University, my aspiration coupled with my previous training on economic theory, Econometrics, Mathematics and Statistics will allow me to leave up to the standards of your department.

Having studied on a publicly funded university with the tax coming from people who can barely afford a standard living condition I feel the time has come for me to return the favour I've taken from my country people. With a proper training if I can contribute even slightly to the development of my country I shall consider myself to be a responsible citizen. The admission to this program will be my first step towards achieving my goal.
Pahan 1 / 1,906 553  
Nov 20, 2013   #2
Being born in Bangladesh I grew up in a country submerged in high poverty and unemployment and struggling to stand still under the weight of its own population with an insufficient resource base.

Being born in Bangladesh, I grew up in a country that is submerged in poverty and high rate of unemployment and its constant struggle to cope with ever growing population.

With a desire to study these problems from a closer perspective I found Economics to be the ideal subject that could equip me with the appropriate knowledge and tools to make me competent enough for making my own contribution in solving them.

With a desire to study these problem from a closer perspective in view of finding solutions for them , I found Economics to be the ideal subject that would equip me with appropriate knowledge and exposure. .... tell your contribution part later to avoid that idea getting repeated too often in this response. Your desire imply all that.

Having studied on a publicly funded university with the tax coming from people who can barely afford a standard living condition I feel the time has come for me to return the favour I've taken from my country people.

.... Yes, this shows you are a responsible and good citizen. :)


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