In last week's post, I reported on the prestige rankings of the top 144 history Ph.D. producing programs and the placement of their graduates. Here is a chart that graphical reproduces that same data and I think makes even more clear the advantage that goes to a very few departments. This chart is of the top 25 departments. The blue lines depict job placement down the prestige rankings, red shows the movement up, and the gray represents no change:
The big mass of blue shows that graduates from the top schools end up getting faculty jobs at lower-ranked schools. You should note that there is very little red—representing movement up—on this chart. The gray area in the northwestern quadrant represents the lower 119 schools in this study. Graduates of these departments stay—for the most part—in this tier, which is reflected in its basic gray color.
Daniel B. Larremore, a post doctoral fellow at the School of Public Health, Harvard University and a member of the three man research team that authored this study, created this chart. A dynamic version is available on his website. This display allows viewers to change the display settings, and track the placement of individual departments.