How much does graduate school matter for being an economics professor?

There is a new paper, by Zhengye Chen, an enterprising undergraduate from the University of Chicago:

Of the 138 Ph.D. economics programs in the United States, the top fifteen Ph.D. programs in economics produce a substantial share of successful economics research scholars. These fifteen Ph.D. programs in turn get 59% of their faculty from only the top six schools with 39% coming from only two schools, Harvard and MIT. Those two schools are also the PhD origins for half of John Bates Clark Medal recipients. Details for assistant professors, young stars today, American Economics Association Distinguished Fellows, Nobel Laureates, and top overseas economics departments are also discussed.

There is much more here, and for the pointer I thank Lee Benham.  I’ll add three points:

1. It has been evident for a while that the former “top six” is in some ways collapsing into a “top two,” namely Harvard and MIT.

2. I was surprised that NYU beats out Stanford for the #6 slot.

3. Two Nobel Laureates, John Hicks and James Meade, did not have a Ph.d at all.


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