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The Undergraduate Origins of Ph.D. Economists

  • John J. Siegfried

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University and AEA)

  • Wendy A. Stock

    ()

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

We document the types of undergraduate colleges and universities attended by those who earned a doctorate in economics from an American university from 1966 through 2003 and examine relationships between type of undergraduate institution and attrition and time-to-degree in Ph.D. programs. The total number of new economics Ph.D.s awarded to U.S. citizens has declined precipitously over the past thirty years. Concurrently, the number of economics doctorates who hold undergraduate degrees from U.S. universities has fallen by half: from a high of about 800 in 1972 to about 400 in 2003. Among those who have earned undergraduate degrees from American institutions, the mix of schools attended by the doctorates has remained relatively stable, with about 55 percent of those who earn a Ph.D. in economics each year holding their bachelors degree from a university that offers a Ph.D. in economics, and a bit more than 10 percent holding a bachelors degree from a selective liberal arts college. Currently, 18 of the 25 American undergraduate institutions that send the largest percentage of their graduating classes on to earn a Ph.D. in economics are liberal arts colleges. Graduates of liberal arts colleges also have shorter time-to-degree and higher verbal GRE scores than other economics Ph.D. students.

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File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/pubs/VUECON/vu06-w11.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
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Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0611.

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Date of creation: May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0611
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html

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  1. John J. Siegfried & Malcolm Getz, 2003. "Where Do the Children Of Professors Attend College?," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0302, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. John J. Siegfried, 2000. "How Many College Students Are Exposed to Economics?," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(2), pages 202-204, June.
  4. Richard B. Freeman & Emily Jin & Chia-Yu Shen, 2004. "Where Do New US-Trained Science-Engineering PhDs come from?," NBER Working Papers 10554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Siegfried, J.J. & Stock, W.A., 2000. "So You Want to Earn a PH.D. in Economics: How Long do you Think it Will Take?," Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education DP-53, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  6. Stock, Wendy A & Siegfried, John J, 2001. "So You Want to Earn a Ph.D. in Economics: How Much Do You Think You'll Make?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 39(2), pages 320-35, April.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Wendy A. Stock & Lee W. Hansen, 2004. "Ph. D. Program Learning and Job Demands: How Close Is the Match?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 266-271, May.
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