How Stanford Took On the Giants of Economics, by Neil Irwin.
"The center of gravity for economic thought in the United States has long been found along the two miles in Cambridge, Mass., that run between Harvard University and M.I.T. But there is new competition for that title, and it is quite a bit farther west.
Stanford University has lured an all-star lineup of economists to Palo Alto, Calif., in the last few years — and fended off Harvard’s and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s attempts to woo Stanford economists.
The newest Stanford professors include a Nobel laureate — Alvin E. Roth, formerly of Harvard — but the shift is more noticeable among top young economists. Of the 11 people who have won the John Bates Clark Medal for best academic economist under age 40 since 2000, four are now at Stanford, more than at any other university. Two of them joined in the last few months: the inequality researcher Raj Chetty, who came from Harvard, and Matthew Gentzkow, who left the University of Chicago.
Stanford’s success with economists is part of a larger campaign to stake a claim as the country’s top university. Its draw combines a status as the nation’s “it” university — now with the lowest undergraduate acceptance rate and a narrow No. 2 for the biggest fund-raising haul — with its proximity to many of the world’s most dynamic companies. "
"“My sense is this is a good development for economics,” Mr. Chetty said. “I think Stanford is going to be another great department at the level of Harvard and M.I.T. doing this type of work, which is an example of economics becoming a deeper field. It’s a great thing for all the universities — I don’t think it’s a zero-sum game.”
Here's an earlier article on Stanford hiring Susan Athey and Guido Imbens and me, from the Chronicle of Higher Education in 2012:
Stanford Lures Alvin Roth and 2 Other Economists From Harvard