Should I apply to a mid to low level economics PhD program or prepare for an RA position?

I am a senior and this last year I applied to RA positions and predoctoral programs and interviewed with many of them, but ended up not getting into any of them. I am still waiting to hear from a couple programs. I am debating whether to prepare for another go at an RA position or predoc program or just apply to a... show more I am a senior and this last year I applied to RA positions and predoctoral programs and interviewed with many of them, but ended up not getting into any of them. I am still waiting to hear from a couple programs. I am debating whether to prepare for another go at an RA position or predoc program or just apply to a PhD program. I figure that since I got many interviews I must be just on the edge of being very competitive for these positions. I think that more research, more statistical software experience, and more math would push me over that edge. I plan to consult with a couple professors and advisors to get their opinion. But if I am on the edge of being accepted into these programs is it worth the risk to prepare for them and apply to them or focus on PhD programs for the upcoming year? Either way I will stay in school for one more year to take more courses and do more research.

I appreciate any help. Thanks
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