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The 21 best universities in the world for budding economists

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The Great Court, Trinity College, Cambridge University

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The Great Court, Trinity College, Cambridge University

QS recently released its worldwide university rankings, broken down by both by region and subject. 

Economics is among those subjects. The profession has got a bad rap in Britain recently due to the inaccuracy of Brexit forecasts, but despite this interest in economics is on the rise.

The QS university ranking is based on the institution’s reputation with academics and employers, and the number of research citations the school gets per paper published in a specific discipline — in this case, economics and econometrics.

Check out the highest-ranked universities for getting a degree in economics and econometrics below:

21. University of Toronto — With 80.2 points overall, Toronto scored particularly well in the citations category, where it got 87.1. Former Bank of Canada Governor Louis Rasminsky is among those to study economics at U of T.

20. National University of Singapore — Located in the bustling city state, NUS scored 80.3 overall, helped by an employer reputation score of 86.3. Notable alumni include former Singapore Airlines chairman Chew Choon Seng, as well as numerous prime ministers and presidents of the country.

19. University of California, San Diego — A constituent of the University of California, San Diego’s score was boosted by a citations score of 96.4, one of the highest overall scores in that category.

18. University of Michigan — With an overall score of 80.8, the university has produced one Nobel Prize winning economist, Robert Shiller, who gained a BA in 1967, before being jointly awarded a Nobel Prize in 2013 for work on the “empirical analysis of asset prices.”

17. University College London — Ranking 17th overall in QS’ ranking, UCL’s economics department scored particularly well in the citations per paper category, where it scored 88.8. 19th century political economist and philosopher John Stuart Mill is one of the university’s most prominent alumni.

16. Bocconi University — Bocconi is the highest ranked European university for economics outside of the UK, according to QS. Economist Mario Monti, who was drafted in as Italy’s prime minister during the euro crisis, went to the school.

15. Northwestern University — With a citations score of 96.1, Northwestern managed an overall score of 85.1. Well-known alumni include George Stigler, who was a driving force in the Chicago school of neoclassical economics. He won a Nobel Memorial Prize in 1982.

14. New York University — NYU may not be as famous as its Manhattan rival Columbia, but it has produced its fair share of economic talent. Macroeconomist Thomas Sargent is the school’s most recent Nobel Memorial Prize winner, picking it up in 2011.

13. University of Pennsylvania — The Ivy League school’s highest individual category was citations, where it scored 91.7, but it scored above 80 in every category.

12. University of California, Los Angeles — Another constituent of University of California to make the list, UCLA had an overall score of 85.7, beating Pennsylvania by just 0.1 points.

11. University of Cambridge — Cambridge ranks as Europe’s third best university for economics and econometrics, thanks largely to an incredible employer reputation score of 98.8. Famous Cambridge economists include Joseph Stiglitz, Milton Friedman, and John Maynard Keynes.

10. Columbia University — New York’s premier institution of higher learning has links with seven Nobel laureates in economics, including Milton Friedman, whose ideas shaped much of the late 20th century’s economic thought.

9. Yale University — With an overall score of 88.1, Yale’s reputation with employers is sky high when it comes to economics. The university’s score in that category was 99 out of 100.

8. University of Oxford — Oxford excels in every subject it teaches, and economics is no exception. It keeps its place from the 2015 QS ranking as Europe’s second best university for economics. Four Oxford graduates and five academic staff have received Nobel prizes in economics alone.

7. University of Chicago — Chicago’s economics department is famous as the incubator for Chicago school of thought, which first began to be recognised in the 1950s. Its academic reputation remains stellar, with a citations score of 97.7.

6. Princeton University — The lowest ranked university to score over 90 overall, Princeton’s high ranking was helped by its academic reputation score of 91.1, and its citations score of 95.2.

5. London School of Economics and Political Science — Given its name, its not surprising that the LSE excels when it comes to teaching economics, scoring 90.3 overall. Famous LSE alumni include 12 winners of the Nobel prize for economic sciences. It remains the best place to study the subject in Europe.

4. University of California, Berkeley — The University of California’s third, and highest, entrant, Cal Berkeley scored above 95 in both citations categories.

3. Stanford University — The best-ranked institution outside the state of Massachusetts, Stanford scored above 90 in three categories, with an overall score of 91.8. Famous alumni include former US Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who helped steward the economy through the 2008 financial crisis.

2. Harvard University — Harvard ranked as the world’s best university in QS’ overall rankings, but it just misses out when it comes to economics. Notable staff teaching economics at the school include Ken Rogoff, Amartya Sen, and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers.

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology — With scores of 100 in two categories, and an overall score of 98.2, MIT is officially QS’ best university for studying economics. Some of the world’s most famous economists, including Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Krugman, and 2016 Nobel Memorial Prize winner Bengt Holmstrom, have ties with the school.