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Attrition in Economics Ph.D. Programs

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  • Wendy A. Stock

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Agricultural Economics, Montana State University)

  • T. Aldrich Finegan

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

  • John J. Siegfried

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University and AEA)

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.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu06-w08.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0608.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0608

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Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html

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Keywords: Attrition; dropouts; economics Ph.D. programs;

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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Alan B. Krueger & Stephen Wu, 2000. "Forecasting Job Placements of Economics Graduate Students," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 81-94, December.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Pantelis Kalaitzidakis & Theofanis P. Mamuneas & Thanasis Stengos, 2003. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions in Economics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 1(6), pages 1346-1366, December.
  6. Booth, A.L. & Satchell, S.E., 1991. "The Hazards of Doing a PhD: An Analysis of Completion and withdrawal rates of British PhDs in the 1980's," Papers, Australian National University - Department of Economics 234, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
  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, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 157-166, April.
  8. Kalaitzidakis, P. & Mamuneas, T.P. & Stengos, T., 2003. "Rankings of Academic Journals and Institutions," Working Papers, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance 2003-8, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
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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. 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.
  3. Fabian Waldinger, 2010. "Quality matters: the expulsion of professors and Ph.D. student outcomes in Nazi Germany," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28737, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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