Best Economics PhD Program Rankings 2018

Aug 16, 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 Ph.D. Programs based on alumni research productivity. We found the best economics Ph.D. Programs 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 productive economics faculty and what graduate programs they attended thus providing an understanding of which PhD Programs have the most productive active alumni.

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.

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 graduated from just 168 PhD Programs. Only 20 PhD Programs had alumni that published 10 or more articles during this time period.

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