Addendum: UM graduate student Jason Kerwin notes in the comments that the economics ratings have, in fact, not been updated this year, only those for some other disciplines, as described in the UM Record Update item that led me to the US news page. This explains, of course, the high serial correlation!
Neither of these rankings appear to have been updated since 2009 (see the top left of each page) - not that that would stop US News from trumpeting their "new" rankings, of course. On the other hand I think maybe (?) they look different from before and that's just a typo?
Establishments that do such rankings should release the data and formulas used, and show changes over time, to prevent such confusion. It might help slow down the artificial year-on-year churn in ranks that never seems connected to actual performance changes.
Not exactly reliable. Northwestern is 10 in abor eventhough they haven't had a labor economist for a while. Go figure.
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