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Attrition in Economics Ph.D. Programs

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0608
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    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu06-w08.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. 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.
    3. 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, December.
    4. 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.
    5. 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 234, Australian National University - Department of Economics.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stock, Wendy A. & Finegan, T. Aldrich & Siegfried, John J., 2009. "Can you earn a Ph.D. in economics in five years?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 523-537, October.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Waldinger, Fabian, 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.
    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. repec:spr:reihed:v:59:y:2018:i:5:d:10.1007_s11162-017-9481-z is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Rouse, Cecilia Elena & Chen, Mingyu, 2016. "Can a summer make a difference? The impact of the American Economic Association Summer Program on minority student outcomesAuthor-Name: Becker, Charles M," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 46-71.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Attrition; dropouts; economics Ph.D. programs;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • A23 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Graduate
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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