First what does idiot savant mean?
Idiot savants are a group of humans that are incapable of learning, writing or reading, yet they have unlimited access to specific, accurate knowledge in the fields of mathematics, music, and other precise areas.
European Phd programs in 1990s converted themselves into US style Phd Programs. This led to both +ves and -ves. So much so people called it post-autistic economics!!
One major -ve was seen that students were not really interested in policy and relevant work in economics. They are more interested in just learning the tools in the phd program. Hence the term idiot savants where though people have so much opportunity to learn but stick to the status quo.
Asser Lindbeck had once said grad programs dont train enough two legged econs who master both techniques and have a flair for real world problems.
In this paper Jesper Roine of Stockholm School of Economics evaluates the students at Phd Program at SSE.