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Can You Earn a Ph.D. in Economics in Five Years?

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Author Info

  • Wendy A. Stodk

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

  • T. Alsrich Finegan

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

  • John J. Siegfried

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

We investigate which of the students who entered economics Ph.D. programs in fall 2002 were more likely to earn a Ph.D. within five years, and which were more likely to have dropped out. Students enrolled in Top-15 ranked programs are less likely to have dropped out, but no more likely than others to have graduated; relatively more of them remain in the pipeline after five years of study. Students with higher verbal and quantitative GRE scores more frequently survive the first five years but are no more likely to have graduated in five years. First-year financial aid appears to reduce attrition and increase completion for U.S. citizens. Those with undergraduate degrees from Top-60 U.S. liberal arts colleges and from foreign universities have both lower attrition and higher completion probabilities. The availability of office space for Ph.D. students is related to higher retention among non-U.S. citizens, but lower completion probabilities among U.S. citizens. There are also important differences in the characteristics associated with retention and completion probabilities between men and women.

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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu08-w18.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
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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 0818.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0818

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

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Keywords: Faculty size; student load;

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Jeffrey Groen & George Jakubson & Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Scott Condie & Albert Yung-Hsu Liu, 2006. "Program Design and Student Outcomes in Graduate Education," NBER Working Papers 12064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Susan Athey & Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger & Steven Levitt & James Poterba, 2007. "What Does Performance in Graduate School Predict? Graduate Economics Education and Student Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 512-520, May.
  5. John J. Siegfried & Wendy A. Stock, 1999. "The Labor Market for New Ph.D. Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 115-134, Summer.
  6. Wendy A. Stock & T. Aldrich Finegan & John J. Siegfried, 2006. "Attrition in Economics Ph.D. Programs," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0608, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  7. John J. Siegfried & Wendy A. Stock, 2004. "The Market for New Ph. D. Economists in 2002," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 272-285, May.
  8. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & George Jakubson & Jeffrey Groen & Eric So & Joseph Price, 2006. "Inside the Black Box of Doctoral Education: What Program Characteristics Influence Doctoral Students' Attrition and Graduation Probabilities?," NBER Working Papers 12065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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