Oct 14, 2008

Economics Departments Rankings

I made a new ranking based on where prolific researchers did their PhD, not where they teach now, and based on citations, not publications. The methodology is explained here and the data can be found here. The top 10 is:

Carnegie Mellon

Here's for the central bank logo competition. I guess Chile is still way in front...hands down!


cosimo said...

Interesting stuff. But people do not stop learning after PhD, and sometimes they do not only learn at their university. If Levitt gets a lot of citations, it is both because he had great training at MIT and because he is at Chicago. At Chicago, he can talk to equally great people, get good funding for his projects, hire super-competent research assistants, with positive impact on the quality of his papers.Why should an author's citations only be attributed to the place where she/he got the PhD? Another related point: it is quite common to spend some time in another university during the PhD. For people who did so and become widely cited, you cannot distinguish the impact of the university where they obtained the Phd from the impact of the university they visited (and the latter can be quite substantial).

Veronika said...

Totally agree with cosimo and would add couple of caveat.

1, I think it is hard to distinguish how much is the added value of the place where you studied compared to your own intrinsic quality as a researcher. It might well be the case that best people self select themselves to go to places with the best brand name but would become equally good if they went to some lower ranked department. For example about Harvard it is often said that most of the professors are so busy and concentrated on their own research that grad students hardly get any attention. However, that does not stop the students from doing extremely well after graduation for two main reasons. One is their own exceptional talent that brought them to Harvard in the first place and the other is a well functioning cooperation with equally talented classmates.

2, Have you controlled for size? Top schools tend to spit out way more graduates than places like Carnegie Melon.

3, did you somehow control for the case in which a graduate writes one extremely influential paper, that brings the department in your ranking to top ten, but there is noone else from the same department who ever wrote such a widely cited paper?

Anyways, thanks for this work. It surely brings some additional insight.

Pierre-Louis said...

thanks guys. about visiting departments fine but do people in the US really visit other departments???
vero, 1. dont you think that the fact that MIT produces the best researchers but odesnt attarct them as professors fit very well with reality??? as my ranking swicthes the top 3...
2. no control done as it is only a rough frist step (ill let you do the second)...however, carnegie mellon has a lot of prolific graduates...
3.in the top 50 there are one or two schools that are there just becuz of one guy