Well, there are two issues. First, Dominic should be able to tell us something about the cross-sectional issue of what that degree is worth for quants, holding other factors constant.One potential problem with the cross-sectional approach is that PhD holders may be, as a group, less money-oriented,so it doesn't surprise me what you read somewhere. It may be quite sensitive to the group polled.So, more directly it comes down to: is any _given_ person likely to earn more with orwithout the PhD. This is impossible to answer cross-sectionally, as it requires having each personlive two different lives. Perhaps, one could do a different kind of poll: each person with a PhD could estimate how their personal lifetime earnings would have changed without that degree. Even without a poll, it seems obvious to me that the answer is _usually_ PhD => higher earnings, because it opensup more opportunities, for one thing. But I admit that quantifying the effect may be tricky. Also, certainly for some people, say Bill Gates, who famously saw an immediate business opportunity that must be seizedand dropped out of Harvard, then the calculation will be the exact opposite. But, the OP didn't frame his situation in that way.
Last edited by Alan
on July 22nd, 2011, 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.