Tag Archives: PhD

MIT Economics

In MIT’s Rise to Prominence: Outline of a Collective Biography, Andrej Svorenčík summarizes facts about the MIT economics department. A part of the abstract:

By reconstructing the network of MIT economics PhDs and their advisers, this article furnishes evidence of how MIT rose to prominence as documented by the numerous ties of Nobel laureates, Clark medalists, elected officials of the American Economic Association or the Council of Economic Advisers to the MIT network. It also reveals the MIT economics department as a community of self-replicating economists who are largely trained by a few key advisers who were mostly trained at MIT as well. MIT has a disproportionate share of graduates who remain in American academe, which may be an important factor in MIT’s rise to prominence. On a methodological level this article introduces collective biography, or prosopography, a well-established historiographical method, to the field of the history of economics.

Research Productivity of Economics PhDs

In an article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives (data appendix), John Conley and Sina Önder argue that

only the top 10–20  percent of a typical graduating class of economics PhD students are likely to accumulate a research record that might lead to tenure at a medium-level research university. … graduating from a top department is neither necessary nor sufficient for becoming a successful research economist. Top researchers come from across the ranks of PhD-granting institutions, and lower-ranked departments produce stars with some regularity, although with lower frequency than the higher-ranked departments. Most of the graduates of even the very highest-ranked departments produce little, if any, published research.

The Economist discussed the article here.