While all of the 30 subject areas covered in the QS World University Rankings by Subject are dominated by US universities, the top of the economics table is even more US-based than usual. The US claims 8 of the top 10 spots, 12 of the top 20, and almost a quarter of the top 200.
However, the economics ranking is more internationally diverse than may appear at first glance. A total of 30 countries have at least one university ranked among the world’s 200 top universities for economics (or in fact 201, due to a tie in this instance). These institutions are scattered across all world regions, though countries with particularly impressive collections of leading economics schools include the UK (24 entries), Australia (12), Germany (11), Canada and Japan (10 each), the Netherlands (8) and Italy (7).
Read on for more details about the best economics schools in each world region.
Top universities for economics in the US
As is typical across all 30 of the subjects ranked by QS, US universities dominate the economics table, taking up almost a quarter of the top 200 places and 8 of the 10 top spots. Harvard retains first place, closely followed by its geographical neighbor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The US monopoly is briefly interrupted by the UK’s London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in third place, but quickly resumes.
Stanford University comes 4th, followed by University of California, Berkeley and the University of Chicago in joint 5th, Princeton University (7th), Yale University (8th) and the University of Pennsylvania (9th). A further 10 US universities rank among the world’s top 50 economics schools, with a total of 48 included among the global top 200.
Top universities for economics in the UK
This is one of the subjects in which the UK’s social sciences specialist, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), comes into its own – retaining its place as the world’s third leading economics school. (It’s also ranked third in the world for politics, second for geography, second for communication & media studies, and third for accounting and finance).
The UK’s next highest ranking institution for economics is the University of Cambridge, in 10th place. Unusually, the University of Oxford is outside of the global top 10 in this subject area, albeit only by two places. Also within the global top 50 are UCL (17th), the University of Warwick (21st) and another specialized institution, London Business School (31st). A total of 24 UK universities are ranked within the 200 top universities for economics.
Top universities for economics in Australia
After the US and UK, the country which boasts the next largest selection of the world’s best economics schools is Australia, with 12 entries among the global top 200. The country’s highest entrant here is also the highest Australian entry in the overall QS World University Rankings® – Australian National University, ranked 18th in the world for economics and 27th in the overall ranking. Other leading Australian universities also fare particularly well in the economics ranking, with the University of Melbourne and Monash University both within the top 25, and the University of Queensland, University of New South Wales and University of Sydney also all within the top 50.
Top universities for economics in Canada
Canada’s two highest ranked universities for economics are the University of Toronto (26=) and University of British Columbia (36th). McGill University, which is currently the second-ranked Canadian institution overall, also makes the top 100 for economics, with seven more of the country’s institutions also included within the top 200.
Many Canadian universities claim a stronger position for economics than in the overall QS World University Rankings; this applies to Queen's University, the University of Western Ontario (also known as Western University), the University of Calgary, Simon Fraser University and the Université du Québec.
More top universities for economics
Aside from the countries already mentioned above, other nations claiming at least one of the world’s best economics schools are Brazil (five entries in the top 200), New Zealand (four), Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Israel and Mexico (two each), and Chile, Colombia, Norway and Turkey (each with one entry).
Image credit: Nick-D/Wikimedia Commons (ANU)