This study investigates the completion of the Ph.D. in Economics. We use ex ante information, based solely upon reviewing a set of individual applications from former doctoral students. Estimation for determining success is done by logit, multinomial logit, and generalized ordered logit. We find that students need different skills and attributes to succeed at each distinct and sequential stage of the doctoral program. Significant determinants for passing the comprehensive exams include high GRE verbal and quantitative scores, a Masters degree, and a prior focus on economics. Research motivation and math preparation play significant roles in completing the dissertation, but having a Masters degree and economics preparation becomes insignificant. GRE scores disappear as a significant determinant for completion in the generalized ordered logit estimates, which emphasize the sequential nature of the Economics Ph.D. program.
Grove, Wayne A.; Dutkowsky, Donald H.; and Grodner, Andrew, "Survive Then Thrive: Talent, Research Motivation, and Completing the Economics Ph.D." (2007). Economics - Faculty Scholarship. 149.
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