Academic economics is more winner-take-all than you might think

John P. Conley and Ali Sina Onder write (pdf):

We study the research productivity of new graduates of top Ph.D. programs in economics.  We find that class rank is as important as departmental rank as predictors of future research productivity.  For instance the best graduate from UIUC or Toronto in a given year will have roughly the same number of American Economic Review (AER) equivalent publications at year six after graduation as the number three graduate from Berkeley, U. Penn, or Yale.  We also find that research productivity of top graduates drops off very quickly with class rank at all departments.  For example, even at Harvard, the median graduate has only 0.04 AER papers at year six…

The indicating post is from Angus, thanks also to Stan T. for a pointer.


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