What makes a great business school professor? Teaching ability is obviously important; a broad network in industry can’t hurt either. But respected research remains the most important factor in building a successful career. Acknowledging this, Thomson Reuters analyzed how often business and economics’ professors’ research was cited by peers between 2002 and 2013 in research databases such as Web of Science of InCites. Which professors published “highly cited papers” (papers that ranked in the top 1% of citations in business and economics) and which published “hot papers” (papers that ranked in the top 0.1% of citations with special emphasis on recentness)? Surely these professors must be the true influencers of the business/economics professoriate? And taking this one step further, which schools worldwide had the greatest number of these star professors? Surely these schools must be the true research powerhouses of the business school firmament?
Here then are the star business professors listed alphabetically in descending order of the schools that employed the largest number of them:
1. Harvard University : 12 star business/economics professors Alberto Alesina, John Campbell, Edward Glaeser, Elhanan Helpman, Guido Imbens, Marc Melitz, Sendhil Mullainathan, Carmen Reinhart, James Robinson, Andrei Shleifer, James Stock, Michael Tushman.
2. University of Chicago : 8 star business/economics professors
Marianne Bertrand, James Heckman, Christian Leuz, John List, Raghuram Rajan, Jesse Shapiro, Robert Vishny, Luigi Zingales.
3. Northwestern University : 4 star business/economics professors Torben Andersen, Martin Eichenbaum, Mitchell Petersen, Paola Sapienza.
4. Texas A&M : 4 star business/economics professors Michael Hitt, R. Duane Ireland, Venkatesh Shankar, David Sirmon.
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology : 3 star business/economics professors Daron Acemoglu, Esther Duflo, Simon Johnson.
6. Duke University : 3 star business/economics professors Dan Ariely, Tim Bollerslev, Campbell Harvey.
7. New York University : 3 star business/economics professors Jushan Bai, William Easterly, Xavier Gabaix.
8. Princeton University : 3 star business/economics professors Angus Deaton, Alan Krueger, Stephen Redding.
Yes, that is Texas A&M between Northwestern and MIT. And, yes, the remaining “M7” schools, Stanford, Wharton, and Columbia, are MIA. Wharton boasts 2 star business/econ professors (as do Dartmouth, University of Toronto, University of California Irvine, University of Alberta, Erasmus University, and University of California Berkeley). But Stanford and Columbia, with ‘only’ 1 star professor fell into the ‘other’ category: the 80 universities who can claim one and only one star business/economics professor. This base of the influencer pyramid includes a disarming range of universities (I should say institutions because one star researcher, Ryan Lafond, actually works for BlackRock, and another toils for Brazil’s Center for International Forestry Research), from University of Hawaii Manoa and Aarhus University in Denmark to Russia’s New Economic School and Italy’s Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance.