The Economist recently profiled some interesting research showing that European output of scholarly articles was growing faster than that of US departments. Maybe Europe is also catching up in terms of producing PhDs? One swallow does not make a summer, but here is a nice leading indicator... even abstracting for the parental pride factor.
The Review of Economic Studies does a nice thing - every year, it brings seven of the most promising young PhD students who did well on the US academic market over to Europe, where they give seminars at a number of universities. This year, my doctoral student Peter Koudijs will join the RES tour. If I am not mistaken, he is the first UPF doctoral candidate to do so. This is not a small thing - it's equivalent to semi-official confirmation that you were a star of the market in a particular year. What makes this particularly nice is that, until now, there were only a handful of Europeans (meaning, economists with doctorates from European schools) who were on the RES tour until now (Dave Donaldson, now at MIT, and Markus Brunnermeier, now at Princeton, come to mind). Before he goes, he will have to make a decision on where to start his career as an assistant professor, having received a string of top offers, from NWU-Econ and Chicago-Booth to Stanford GSB, LSE-EcHist, and Columbia GSB.