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Economics Concentrations -Rankings

The econphd.net rankings are among the most substantial in scope (covering 63 journals over roughly ten years, 1993-2003) and they are unique in detail (the only consistent rankings at the subdiscipline level). Detail is very important: I cannot think of anyone other than a dean or head of department who should really care about a department’s overall ranking. It is hoped that these rankings are particularly useful to prospective PhD applicants. They should also help publicize specialized expertise at smaller departments. Journal selection and quality-adjustment are based on the citation analysis by Kalaitzidakis et al.

Apr 23, 2006 update: The new average productivity ranking is a “size-adjusted” version of the regular rankings. To calculate the “average equivalent papers” for a department, I rank its authors by individual scores and compute the average for the top 15. If a department has more than 15 authors, say 20, the remainder (5) is not counted in the ranking; if it has less than 15 authors, say 10, I effectively add (5) dummy authors with zero scores. Hence the ranking punishes departments whose publishing faculty falls short of a minimal critical size (in this case, fifteen). But, unlike the regular ranking, it does not punish departments further for being smaller than others.

The table also reports the average for all authors in the department – but one should not read too much into this number. For departments with many publishing authors, it is automatically biased toward mediocrity, although an active faculty is clearly a good thing. One should keep in mind that “author count” is not the same thing as a “faculty size count.” I do not have data about faculty size (and if I had, I would not find them interesting). The average productivity ranking is not given for subdisciplines because I believe that more expertise in a specialty is valuable regardless of how many authors embody it. Hence the regular subdiscipline rankings are most appropriate.

Mar 26, 2006 update: Definitions of the two minor fields in the Economic History & Thought subdiscipline have changed, after repeated prompting from economic historians. Stephen Broadberry (Warwick) made the simple and effective suggestion to treat all N codes as one field (economic history).

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