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Rise of the Kniesians: The professor-student network of Nobel laureates in economics


  • Richard S.J. Tol

    () (Department of Economics, University of Sussex
    Department of Spatial Economics, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
    Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
    Tinbergen Institute, Amsterdam)


The paper presents the professor-student network of Nobel laureates in economics. 72 of the 77 Nobelists belong to one family tree. The remaining 5 belong to 3 separate trees. There are 350 men in the graph, and 4 women. Karl Knies is the central-most professor, followed by Wassily Leontief. Harvard is the central-most university, followed by Chicago and Berlin. Most candidates for the Nobel prize belong to the main family tree, but new trees may arise for the students of Terence Gorman and Denis Sargan.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard S.J. Tol, 2018. "Rise of the Kniesians: The professor-student network of Nobel laureates in economics," Working Paper Series 0518, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
  • Handle: RePEc:sus:susewp:0518

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ho Fai Chan & Benno Torgler, 2012. "Econometric Fellows and Nobel Laureates in Economics," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 3365-3377.
    2. Peter J. Boettke & Alexander Fink & Daniel J. Smith, 2012. "The Impact of N obel P rize Winners in Economics: Mainline vs. Mainstream," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(5), pages 1219-1249, November.
    3. Dietzenbacher,Erik & Lahr,Michael L. (ed.), 2004. "Wassily Leontief and Input-Output Economics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521832380, October.
    4. Glenn Ellison, 2013. "How Does the Market Use Citation Data? The Hirsch Index in Economics," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 63-90, July.
    5. Kiichiro Yagi, 2005. "Karl Knies, Austrians, and Max Weber: a Heidelberg connection?," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 314-330, September.
    6. Paul T. Homan, 1927. "John Bates Clark: Earlier and Later Phases of His Work," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 39-69.
    7. Avner Offer & Gabriel Söderberg, 2016. "The Nobel Factor: The Prize in Economics, Social Democracy, and the Market Turn," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10841.
    8. Thomas C. Leonard, 2003. "“A Certain Rude Honesty”: John Bates Clark as a Pioneering Neoclassical Economist," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 35(3), pages 521-558, Fall.
    9. William Breit & Barry T. Hirsch (ed.), 2009. "Lives of the Laureates, Fifth Edition: Twenty-three Nobel Economists," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 5, volume 1, number 0262012766.
    10. 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.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Science and Technology links (March 30th, 2018)
      by ? in Daniel Lemire's blog on 2018-03-30 16:21:13
    2. Editors’ Briefing: This Week in Political Economy (May 4–May 12)
      by ProMarket writers in Pro-Market on 2018-05-12 13:37:22

    More about this item


    social network; professor-student relationship; Nobel Prize;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • B20 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925 - - - General
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals

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