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The Ph.D. Circle in Academic Economics

  • Daniel B. Klein

Adam Smith doubted an invisible hand in academia, saying that academia was prone to clubbish foolishness. From economics-department webpages, I collected data on Ph.D. origination of economics faculty. Using a ranking of 200 economics departments world-wide, I find that at the top departments 80-90 percent of faculty got their PhD at a top-35 department. The set of top-35 departments draws 76 percent of faculty from itself. The top-35 dominate the entire profession. Economics is more a monocentric cultural pyramid than a polycentric market.

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Article provided by Econ Journal Watch in its journal Econ Journal Watch.

Volume (Year): 2 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 133-148

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Handle: RePEc:ejw:journl:v:2:y:2005:i:1:p:133-148
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  1. Kocher, Martin G & Sutter, Matthias, 2001. "The Institutional Concentration of Authors in Top Journals of Economics during the Last Two Decades," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(472), pages F405-21, June.
  2. Robert H. Nelson, 2004. "Scholasticism versus Pietism: The Battle for the Soul of Economics," Econ Journal Watch, Econ Journal Watch, vol. 1(3), pages 473-497, December.
  3. Spellman, William E & Gabriel, D Bruce, 1978. "Graduate Students in Economics, 1940-74," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(1), pages 182-87, March.
  4. Boschini, Anne & Lindquist, Matthew & Pettersson, Jan & Roine, Jesper, 2004. "The Incentives of Future Economists - Striking a Balance between Tools and Relevance," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 550, Stockholm School of Economics.
  5. Sherwin Rosen, 1997. "Austrian and Neoclassical Economics: Any Gains from Trade?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 139-152, Fall.
  6. Paul J. Pieper & Rachel A. Willis, 1999. "The Doctoral Origins of Economics Faculty and the Education of New Economics Doctorates," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(1), pages 80-88, January.
  7. Johansson, Dan, 2004. "Economics without Entrepreneurship or Institutions: A Vocabulary Analysis of Graduate Textbooks," Ratio Working Papers 58, The Ratio Institute.
  8. Wendy A. Stock & Richard M. Alston, 2000. "Effect of Graduate-Program Rank on Success in the Job Market," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(4), pages 389-401, December.
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