Oops! The Economist Fixes Its New Ranking

When The Economist published its annual MBA ranking yesterday, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business was ranked second right behind Chicago Booth.

Delighted, Darden quickly issued a news release to trumpet its achievement. The school pointed out that the No. 2 ranking was “the highest ever received” by the Darden School.

“At Darden, we aim to deliver the world’s best MBA education experience and to foster the most tight-knit community in graduate business education,” said Darden’s Dean Bob Bruner in a statement. “This latest ranking is a validation of Darden’s extraordinary learning community, its accomplishments and its global reach.”


Today (Oct. 5), The Economist apparently changed its mind, making Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business the second best school in the world.

What happened? Apparently, the British magazine made a mistake when it calculated its faculty ranking for Tuck. With the adjustment, Tuck essentially trades places with Darden. So now Darden is third, up from fourth last year, and Tuck is second, down from first.

According to a Tuck spokesperson, the faculty quality “rank shown (>100) is simply not possible given the data we submitted (and the facts).  This rank is then part of the rank for Professional Development and Educational Experience and ultimately the overall rank.”

The school called into The Economist which corrected the error today.

That one small metric would change a business school’s rank that high up the list suggests how closely clustered the schools actually are. The Economist crunches 21 different numbers together to crank out its ranking. Faculty quality–measured by the ratio of faculty to students, the faculty with Phds, and a student opinion survey of the faculty–accounts for only 8.75% of The Economist’s entire ranking.



  • Nice post about MBA

  • No Guts no Glory

    Again my friend you are missing the point! The ranking is not about “what you would pick”, that was not a question considered while accumulating the data. Please understand that the idea of this ranking is, that given these “XYZ” questions, these “ABC” schools came out on top. I wish i was in a room with you and MBA over 30, want to white board and tell ya, the point is not to think emotively but objectively ! Anyways, i respect both of y’all’s opinion. MBA over 30- would be nice to be classmates with you next fall 🙂

  • Saif Ahmed

    While I don’t agree with all the rankings of Economist, you have to agree that public perception of schools tend to get skewed because of past records. At the end of the day, all of these at the top are extremely good schools with marginal differences between them.

  • I respect your opinion; but where did I ever say anything about going “purely on reputation”? I didn’t. I think you may be projecting a bit from another debate you had that I wasn’t a part of.

  • N

    I agree with MBA Over 30. I would never pick Darden (#3), NYU Stern (#11) over Wharton (#13).

  • No guts no Glory

    Do not agree with you at all. I think the economist does a great job at correcting what was wrong the first time around. Every ranking is about the underlying data and every ranking focusses on different elements as to what is important for them. Economist focusses on things i believe are much more important than what FT and US news rely on aka primarily GMAT scores and moolah. Economist actually cares about faculty quality and what alums have to say, and that is truly besides culture as a differentiating factor b/w schools. And to come to your point on institutions “not loosing quality” , i dont agree with your thought process of “going purely by reputation”, i think there are schools who just rest on past laurels and they will if not already are loosing the recent quality in their class intake because of not thinking ahead of the game. Sorry bro, just my 2 cents !

  • What a joke. I never take economist rankings seriously; I also don’t take too much stock in BW either, even though they were first. US News and FT seem to have perfected this subjective art and everyone else just seems to be playing b-school musical chairs each year for shock value and headlines. These are also the two that IMO do the most responsible and respectful job of this whole t hing.

    Truth is, these schools don’t change drastically from year to year. They each have very cultures, philosophies, pedagogy, etc; and when one school makes drastic changes for the better, it should be rewarded for those changes–responsibly, like how Booth and Stanford have over the past 20 years or how Yale SOM has been of late. All of this shuffling and crazy zips up and down the rankings is respectful to not only readers but to schools; and it adds yet another dimension of dementia to a process that is already convolulted enough as it is.