An empirical note on university rankings

Kang Hua CAO, Chi Keung WOO, Yi SHI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


This note explores the empirics of the world’s top 100 universities based on their arithmetic averages of individual rankings published by five ranking agencies in 2022. It finds disparity in each university’s individual rankings. Further, the extent of disparity is greater for lower-ranking universities, enabling strategic announcements of their global standings. Hence, we urge caution when interpreting the ranking announcement posed on a university’s website. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Economics Letters
Early online dateAug 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Aug 2023


Cao, K. H., Woo, C.-K., & Shi, Y. (2023). An empirical note on university rankings. Applied Economics Letters. Advance online publication.


  • Top 100 universities
  • University rankings
  • Ranking disparity
  • Ranking agreement


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