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Top 7 Ivy League Colleges for Economics

These top 7 Ivy League colleges for economics are among the most, if not the most, prestigious economics schools in the world. If your dreams involve making a mark in the field of economic sciences, you can’t go wrong with one of these.

Still, even Ivy League colleges aren’t created equal. There are nuances that, regardless of how subtle they can be, set them apart. In spite of the fact that some people believe that economy isn’t a science, it has a profound effect on our lives and throughout human history, some of the best minds have tried their best to understand it, as it can be seen in these most influential papers on economics. Whether or not they were successful largely depends on one’s point of view, but they have contributed greatly to our understanding of economics. It only seems fair to use them in order to rank best Ivy League economics schools. So, we used metric anyone can appreciate: number of Nobel Prize for economics winners, or Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, as the full title goes. All Ivy League colleges predate the award, which was established in 1968, so their contribution prior to that year may be neglected, we felt that the list should illustrate the modern standings, so we have chosen to ignore that fact.

Top 7 Ivy League Colleges for Economics


We divided them into two categories: alumni and staff. Alumni represents the number of people who graduated from one of Ivy League economics colleges and have won a Nobel Prize. Stuff are Nobel Prize laureates that have worked in any capacity in one of these top 7 Ivy League colleges for economics. If a person appeared in both categories, like Paul Krugman, who both graduated from Yale and worked there as an Assistant Professor he has been counted for each of them. People who worked in two or more universities have been counted for each one, like Joseph Stiglitz for Columbia and Yale. Out of 8 Ivy League universities, only one didn’t have a single Nobel Prize winner either among its graduates or staff. Care to guess which one?

7. Brown University

Number of alumni: 0 Number of staff: 2 Total Nobel Prize Winners: 2

Notable names: George Stigler, Vernon L. Smith

Only two names on the list for Brown University can hardly be a surprise, considering that it doesn’t have a dedicated MBA college on its campus. Still, when you get to say “only two Nobel Prize laureates” you know the competition is fierce.

Top 7 Ivy League Colleges for Economics


6. Cornell University

Number of alumni: 2 Number of staff: 1 Total Nobel Prize Winners: 3

Notable names: Robert F. Engle, Robert Fogel, Amartya Sen

Top 7 Ivy League Colleges for Economics


5. University of Pennsylvania

Number of alumni: 0 Number of staff: 7 Total Nobel Prize Winners: 7

Notable names: Edmund S. Phelps, Edward C. Prescott, Oliver E. Williamson, Robert A. Mundell, Thomas J. Sargent, Lawrence Klein

Top 7 Ivy League Colleges for Economics

Richard Paul Kane/

4. Princeton University

Number of alumni: 5 Number of staff: 7 Total Nobel Prize Winners: 12

Notable names: John Forbes Nash, Sir William Arthur Lewis, Christopher Sims, Daniel Kahneman, Paul R. Krugman, Thomas J. Sargent

Despite lacking a dedicated MBA school, Princeton managed to rank 4th on our list of top 7 Ivy League colleges for economics, with 5 Nobel Prize winners who graduated there.

Top 7 Ivy League Colleges for Economics

Joseph Sohm/

3. Columbia University

Number of alumni: 7 Number of staff: 10 Total Nobel Prize Winners: 17

Notable names: Milton Friedman, Robert C. Merton, Robert W. Fogel, Simon S. Kuznets, Joseph Stiglitz, Alvin E. Roth

Top 7 Ivy League Colleges for Economics


2. Yale University

Number of alumni: 5 Number of staff: 15 Total Nobel Prize Winners: 20

Notable names: Edmund Phelps, George Akerlof, Paul R. Krugman, Peter A. Diamond, Daniel L. McFadden, Gérard Debreu

Top 7 Ivy League Colleges for Economics

Pete Spiro/

1. Harvard University

Number of alumni: 13 Number of staff: 9 Total Nobel Prize Winners: 22

Notable names: Paul A. Samuelson, Robert M. Solow, Roger Myerson, Thomas J. Sargent, Thomas Schelling, Vernon L. Smith, Alvin E. Roth, Lars Peter Hansen

With 13 Nobel Prize winners among their graduates and 9 on staff, Harvard University deservedly claims the title of top Ivy League college for economics.

Top 7 Ivy League Colleges for Economics

Marcio Jose Bastos Silva/