How MIT’s PhD economics program developed over the years?

There has been some recent interest in how MIT shaped its economics department and the history of the program.

Here is an interesting paper by Pedro Garcia Duarte of University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).  He adds to the history of MIT econ department by writing on its PhD program:

After World War II economists acquired increasing importance in the American society in general. Moreover, the production of economics PhDs in the United States increased substantially and became a less concentrated industry. This period witnessed also the reformulation of the graduate education in economics in the US, informed by the several changes that were occurring in economics: its mathematization, the neoclassicism, the advancement of econometrics, the “Keynesian revolution,” and the ultimate Americanization of economics. The centrality that the MIT graduate program acquired in the postwar period makes it an important case study of the transformation of American economics more generally. Therefore, my aim here is to scrutinize the formative years of the PhD program, mostly the 1940s and 1950s.

A really interesting read. It takes this network approach showing which econs trained which ones and where they landed up.

Amazing to note that there was nothing like PhD in economics in MIT then. It was a PhD in industrial economics. It was also a far more diversified program with courses in the now neglected and ignored other social sciences.


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