Do Elite Business Schools Benefit Economies At All?

By Stephan Manning.

Many believe that elite business schools, such as Harvard in the US, London Business School in the UK, and INSEAD in France, produce the business leaders of tomorrow. And it is certainly true that the world elite – in business and politics – is typically recruited from a handful of institutions. But do elite business schools necessarily benefit economies? A close look at the latest Top 20 list of most prestigious business schools in Europe, based on QS Top Universities Rankings, makes you wonder: At first glance, it may be no surprise that London Business School and INSEAD top the list. But why is none of the Top 20 schools based in Europe’s strongest economy – Germany? Why is the entire region of Eastern Europe, despite highest GDP growth rates over the past two decades, not listed at all? And why is the third highest ranked school – Bocconi University – located in Italy, which has been facing ongoing political and economic struggles? It may be true that every ranking is biased and flawed, but you may ask myself: Do elite business schools contribute to national economic strength at all?

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