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October 18, 2014


 Michael Kremer

Rutgers' website lists undergraduate degree (and MA if any) for almost all of their PhD students. I don't think it particularly strongly fits the moneyball hypothesis, though there may be more prestige schools listed here than in pre-PGR days. Here is the list (including only BA school, for a student listing both an MA and a BA, and not including 4 students listing only an MA school; if I counted right, three students do not list previous schools).

Rutgers 4 students
Harvard 2 students
University of British Columbia 2 students
SUNY Buffalo
Calvin College
Lafayette College
Universidad de los Andes
Washington and Lee
Virginia Commonwealth
Univ of Washington
Ohio University
Spring Arbor University
Biola U
Boston College

2 students list Master's degrees from St Andrews and 2 students list Master's degrees from Edinburgh

John Protevi

Hi Michael, yes, I had looked at that website, and at others, in making up the Moneyball hypothesis. We would need to do a lot more work to see what the historical trends are.

In any case, just eyeballing the list, the only (domestic) candidates for School of Hard Knocks places that jump out at me are Temple, Wyoming and SUNY Buffalo, but of course there could be high SES students there and low SES students from Harvard, Wesleyan, Brown, NYU, Stanford, Dartmouth, Amherst, and Emory.

Owen Flanagan

One deeply problematic feature of graduate admission I have anecdotal evidence for is the value added for the testimony of known letter writers (personally, grad school class mate, or by visibility). Mentioning this at an admissions meeting is a pretty transparent status display on the part of the person who knows so and so, but it is presented as if knowing the letter writer increases reliability of the testimony.

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