Who obtained a doctorate in economics in 2020?

The latest data from the National Science Foundation’s survey of doctorates earned for the 1,216 doctorates in economics awarded in 2020 shows that men outnumber women by almost 2 to 1, 60% of doctorates went to foreigners on temporary visas, and 24 of 493 beneficiaries (about 5%) who were U.S. citizens or permanent residents were black.

Some lessons from the data:

Of 1216 doctorates in economics awarded in 2020, 797 (66%) went to men and 419 (34%) to women. By comparison, in physics, 21% of doctorates were awarded to women; in computer and information sciences, also 21%; in math and statistics, 29%; in political science, 39%; in chemistry, also 39%; in management and business administration, 42%; in sociology, 59%; in psychology, 72%.

Data on the race / ethnicity of doctors is only available for those who are US citizens or permanent residents. Here is the breakdown for 2020 and 2019:

The number of doctorates awarded to black U.S. citizens or permanent residents has increased slightly in recent years, from an average of 16 in 2013 to 2017 to an average of 25 in the following three years.

Among the 1,216 holders of doctorates in economics in 2020:

  • About half were married when they graduated. Men and women were equally likely to be married.
  • The median age at completion was 31, the same for women and men.
  • About 12% took five years or less from entering graduate school to graduation, 68% took more than five and up to 10 years, and 20% took more than 10 years. The median was 7.5 years; the median for men was a few months shorter than the median for women.
  • Almost 80% had no debt to graduate studies; half of the rest owed less than $ 20,000. About 85% had no undergraduate debt. (These data do not distinguish between those who did their undergraduate studies abroad and those who did so in the United States)

To read the Hutchins Center report on gender and racial diversity among doctoral economists employed by the federal government in 2020, visit this page.

The data in this article comes from the PhD Earned Survey restricted data analysis system, a survey of 55,000 people who graduated from the previous year. The Hutchins Center report uses data from the American Economic Association’s Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economic Occupation, which is taken from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, and differs slightly from the Survey data. with holders of a doctorate.


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