Rabah Amir (University of Arizona, Eller College of Management) & Malgorzata Knauff (Warsaw School of Economics) have published Ranking Economics Departments Worldwide on the Basis of PhD Placement (2005). Here is the abstract:
An objective ranking of economics departments worldwide in terms of graduate education is derived. The central idea is that the value of a department is the sum of the values of its PhD graduates, as reflected in the values of their current employing departments. The scores are thus derived as solutions to a linear system of simultaneous equations in the values. The sample includes the top fifty-four departments, the composition of which is determined endogenously using a criterion requiring a minimum of four placements in the departments comprising the sample. Two other related rankings are proposed, which place more emphasis on more recent faculty recruitments. The results point to a very high concentration in the economics PhD education market worldwide, confirming the dominance of the top U.S. departments, in particular of Harvard and M.I.T. Nevertheless, a modest de-concentration trend is under way. The rankings are in close agreement with the 1994 National Research Council survey ranking based on the perceived quality of PhD programs.
(Hat Tip: Paul Caron)The Top 10 economics departments by this measure are:
10. London School of Economics