Scholarly Comments on Academic Economics

The Ph.D. Circle in Academic Economics

by

Abstract

Adam Smith doubted an invisible hand in academia, saying that academia was prone to clubbish foolishness. From economics-department webpages, I collected data on Ph.D. origination of economics faculty. Using a ranking of 200 economics departments world-wide, I find that at the top departments 80-90 percent of faculty got their PhD at a top-35 department. The set of top-35 departments draws 76 percent of faculty from itself. The top-35 dominate the entire profession. Economics is more a monocentric cultural pyramid than a polycentric market.

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Volume (Issue)
Pages
133-148
Published
JEL classification
A11, A13, A14
Keywords
Ph.D. origination, self-validation, academia, scholasticism, Adam Smith
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