I think its pretty fair to say that, holding their backgrounds constant, most economists would have a hard time getting into grad school these days. As applicants, we've got better information, and, IMHO, the applicant pool gets a little better and hence more competitive each year. So I'm going to say no on Levitt.
There's still the "you got it or you don't" factor. It can buy you an awful lot. Levitt's got 'it', though, no question.