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Attrition in Economics Ph.D. Programs

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  • Wendy A. Stock
  • T. Aldrich Finegan
  • John J. Siegfried

Abstract

Information about 586 individuals who matriculated into 27 economics Ph.D. programs in Fall 2002 is used to estimate first and second year attrition rates. After two years, 26.5 percent of the initial cohort had left, equally divided between the first and second years. Attrition varies widely across individual programs. It is lower among the most highly rated 15 programs, for students with higher verbal and quantitative GRE scores, and for those on a research assistantship. Poor academic performance is the most cited reason for withdrawal. About 15 percent transfer to other economics programs because they are dissatisfied with some aspect of the particular program where they first enrolled.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282806777212044
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 96 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 458-466

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:2:p:458-466

Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282806777212044
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References

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  1. Kalaitzidakis, P. & Mamuneas, T.P. & Stengos, T., 2003. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions," Working Papers 2003-8, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  2. Alan B. Krueger & Stephen Wu, 2000. "Forecasting Job Placements of Economics Graduate Students," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 81-94, January.
  3. Booth, Alison L & Satchell, Stephen E, 1993. "The Hazards of Doing a PhD: An Analysis of Completion and Withdrawal Rates of British PhDs in the 1980s," CEPR Discussion Papers 765, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. John J. Siegfried & Wendy A. Stock, 2006. "The Undergraduate Origins of Ph.D. Economists," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0611, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  5. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Panagiotis G. Mavros, 1995. "Do Doctoral Students' Financial Support Patterns Affect Their Times-To-Degree and Completion Probabilities?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(3), pages 581-609.
  6. Pantelis Kalaitzidakis & Theofanis P Mamuneas & Thanasis Stengos, 2001. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions in Economics," Discussion Papers in Economics 01/8, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  7. van Ours, J. C. & Ridder, G., 2003. "Fast track or failure: a study of the graduation and dropout rates of Ph D students in economics," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 157-166, April.
  8. Anne D. Boschini & Matthew J. Lindquist & Jan Pettersson & Jesper Roine, 2004. "Learning to Lose a Leg: Casualties of PhD Economics Training in Stockholm," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(2), pages 369-379, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Wendy A. Stodk & T. Alsrich Finegan & John J. Siegfried, 2008. "Can You Earn a Ph.D. in Economics in Five Years?," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0818, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  2. Fabian Waldinger, 2010. "Quality Matters - the Expulsion of Professors and Ph.D. Student Outcomes in Nazi Germany," CEP Discussion Papers dp0985, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. John J. Siegfried & Wendy A. Stock, 2006. "The Undergraduate Origins of Ph.D. Economists," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0611, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  4. T. Aldrich Finegan & Wendy A. Stock & John J. Siegfried, 2006. "Matriculation in U.S. Economics Ph.D. Programs: How Many Accepted Americans Do Not Enroll?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 453-457, May.
  5. Wendy A. Stock & John J. Siegfried, 2006. "Time-to-Degree for the Economics Ph.D. Class of 2001-2002," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 467-474, May.
  6. KimMarie McGoldrick & Gail Hoyt & Dave Colander, 2008. "The Professional Development of Graduate Students in Economics," Middlebury College Working Paper Series 0811, Middlebury College, Department of Economics.

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