Best Economics Departments 2018

Aug 22, 2018

Data & Sons recently completed our analysis of top tier economics journal publications from 2014 to 2017 and is pleased to announce the world’s best Economics Departments based on faculty research productivity. We found the best Economics Departments in 2018 are:

Why a Ranking System Based on Publication Productivity
We developed our rankings by focusing on what is increasingly most important for universities and faculty: publication in top tier economics journals. While most program rankings are based on faculty lifetime citations, scholarship money, and job placement; faculty tenure and promotion decisions as well as university budget dollars are increasingly driven by the number of publication in top journals in recent years. Our system identifies the most currently productive economics faculty enabling us to evaluate the productivity of departments.

Ranking Methodology
We identified every publication in five top economics journals published in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. We identified the five top economics journals from the Journal Citation Reports’ journal impact score and chose the five economics journals with the highest impact score. To confirm use of these journals in tenure and promotion evaluations, we also reviewed the journal lists used in multiple University Economics Departments to evaluate faculty productivity, tenure, and promotion. The five journals used for our 2018 Top Economics Professor ranking were Econometrica, Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy, and The Quarterly Journal of Economics. We did not use American Economic Review simply because of the volume of articles published in AER was greater than that of the other five journals combined. Because economics faculty often have mulitple appointments, we counted each publication as a published article for each departments, centers, companies, or government agencies a faculty member was affiliated with in 2018. So for a faculty member affiliated with three institutions, each of the three institutions would receive 1 publication for each article published by that economist.

Our analysis found there were 1,323 economists that published articles in these five journals between 2014 and 2017. All of these 1,323 authors were working in one of 324 departments, centers, companies, or government agencies. Harvard University (77), University of Chicago (70), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (60) were the top three departments. Only 29 Departments had published 10 or more articles during this time period. Please note we counted publications for centers, companies, or government agencies as well as university departments, however we did not rank these entities as economics faculty typically work day to day in universities. The National Bureau of Economic Research with 165 publications would have been the top ranked entity if we included centers in our rankings.

To see the complete ranking of economics departments, please view the complete dataset