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).

Issues (thanks to all correspondents):

  • Purpose: This ranking deviates from many conventional ones in that an author's entire publication history is attributed to the current affiliation, rather than the affiliation at time of publication. Hence this ranking is not a measure of department productivity over a period of time. It is a measure of current faculty resources. Thanks to Prof. Thanasis Stengos for highlighting this difference.

  • Journal Selection: In areas like finance, statistics within econometrics, and some others, there exist significant outlets besides the economics journals. Including these journals is not really feasible since they would dilute the rankings with articles that are not economics-related. On the other hand, we must keep in mind the limited meaning of the affected subdiscipline rankings and recognize that e.g. finance-intensive departments are effectively penalized in the overall rankings. Thanks to Prof. John Cochrane and others for commenting on missing journals.

  • Affiliations: One cannot look up every author's current affiliation; there are far too many. This ranking treats the affiliation listed first, in the most recent included publication, as current. (Even that involves much manual work to streamline alternate spellings and names of institutions, as well as identify colleges, schools and centers with their parents.) If an author has not published since moving to a new department, or has listed another department first, he or she is assigned incorrectly. One hopes that one error tends to cancel another, but this is not always the case.

Please accept that, even if I become aware of an inaccurate affiliation assignment, it cannot be corrected for reasons of consistency, except in cases of genuine error within the methodology.

  Methodological Details

All Economics  network ranking 
av. productivity ranking

1. Economic History & Thought  network ranking
2. Econometrics  network ranking
3. Microeconomic Theory  network ranking
4. Labor & Consumer Economics  network ranking
5. IO / Business Economics
 network ranking
6. Public Economics
 network ranking
7. Macroeconomics
 network ranking
8. Trade & Development
 network ranking
9. Financial Economics
 network ranking
10. Resource & Agricultural Econ.
 network ranking



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