Research by PhD student Stefanie Stantcheva touches on taxation, student loans and education incentives.
MIT retained its fourth-place position among national universities while the Institute's undergraduate engineering program continued its decades-long reign in U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of America's best colleges and universities, which were released today.
In the overall university rankings, MIT shares the number four slot with three other schools - Caltech, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania. Harvard and Princeton share the top spot this year, while Yale ranks third.
For more than 20 years, MIT has held the top spot in the magazine's overall undergraduate engineering rankings. Specialized engineering disciplines at MIT that U.S. News also ranked as the nation's best this year include aeronautics and astronautics, chemical, electrical and computer science, materials and mechanical. In materials science and engineering, MIT's ranking jumped from a tie for fourth last year to a first-place ranking this year.
MIT's undergraduate business program tied with the University of California, Berkeley, as the nation's second best. MIT took top honors for its undergraduate business specialties in production and operations management, management information systems, quantitative analysis, and supply chain management.
The U.S. News ranking formula gives greatest weight to the opinions of those in a position to judge a school's undergraduate academic excellence. The peer assessment survey allows presidents, provosts and deans of admissions to account for intangibles such as faculty dedication to teaching.
Ranked by its peer universities in this category, MIT shared top and equal standing with Harvard, Stanford and Princeton.
Among other key criteria for judging schools is selectivity as gauged by acceptance rate (MIT tied for second) and financial resources (MIT was ranked third).
The magazine rated MIT among the top 10 most racially diverse universities in America. The Institute also tied with Dartmouth College for fourth in the ranking of the nation's most economically diverse universities as determined by the percentage of students receiving Pell grants.
Finally, the report judged an MIT education to be a great value. MIT ranked fifth among national universities in a measure of price relative to quality; last year, the Institute ranked fourth.