Economists devote considerable effort to graduate student education but have conducted relatively little research on the determinants of student performance or placement in the job market. Do graduate students who do well in core microeconomics (micro) courses also do well in core macroeconomics (macro) and econometrics (metrics) courses? Are students who achieve higher grades in their first year core classes or general exams more likely to complete their PhD and obtain higher ranked positions in the job market? In an attempt to answer these questions, we assembled a rich dataset on 1,029 economics graduate students who enrolled at Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Princeton University, Stanford University, or the University of Chicago in the 1990s. These schools were selected because, in 1993, they had the five highest-ranked economics PhD programs, according to the National Research Council. Our results indicate that students’ grades in required core courses are highly correlated across subjects. The PhD admissions committee’s evaluation of a student predicts first year grades and PhD completion, but not job placement. First-year performance is a strong predictor of PhD completion. Most importantly, we find that first year micro and macro grades are statistically significant predictors of student job placement, even conditional on PhD completion. Conditional on first year grades, Graduate Record Examination scores, foreign citizenship, sex, and having a prior master’s degree do not predict job placement. Students who attended elite undergraduate universities and liberal arts colleges are more likely to be placed in top ranked academic jobs.