Attrition in Economics Ph.D. Programs
Stock, Wendy A.
Finegan, T. Aldrich
Siegfried, John J.
Information about 586 individuals who matriculated into 27 economics Ph.D. programs in Fall 2002 is used to estimate first and second year attrition rates. After two years, 26.5 percent of the initial cohort had left, equally divided between the first and second years. Attrition varies widely across individual programs. It is lower among the most highly rated 15 programs, for students with higher verbal and quantitative GRE scores, and for those on a research assistantship. Poor academic performance is the most cited reason for withdrawal. About 15 percent transfer to other economics programs because they are dissatisfied with some aspect of the particular program where they first enrolled.