There are a variety of rankings for educational institutions and

There are a variety of rankings for educational institutions and programs around the world. Among them are university rankings by Times Higher Education ( and Academic Ranking of World Universities ( For business schools specifically, the popular business news magazine BusinessWeek compiles a ranking of master of business administration (MBA) programs every two years. Since the publication targets US readers, the rankings focus on MBA programs in the United States.
To compute its rankings, BusinessWeek uses information gathered primarily from surveys of MBA graduates and corporate recruiters. The survey of MBA graduates asks former students to score (on a 10-point scale) their own school’s quality in terms of teaching, facilities, career services, and so on. The student survey elicits close to 10,000 responses each year. The survey sent to recruiters asks them to score MBA programs based on their experience with graduates from these programs. The recruiter survey has about 230 responses each year. Each of the two surveys contributes 45% to the final ranking. (The remaining 10% weight is for schools’ contributions to “intellectual capital,” which is not important for the purposes of this question.)

Discuss the usefulness of these rankings. More specifically, consider the reliability of the results from the two surveys (student and recruiter) that determine the rankings. Pay particular attention to the incentives of each group of survey respondents.


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