Empirical Analysis of Career Transitions of Sciences and Engineering Doctorates in the US

This paper studies career mobility of white male doctorates in natural sciences and engineering using the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (1973-2001). The paper focuses on two issues. First, it assesses the relevance of doctoral careers to sciences and engineering (S&E) in general, and research and development in particular. Second, it evaluates participation rates and mobility patterns of doctorates in careers of different types. To analyze how various factors affect mobility, a transition model with competing risks is specified and estimated. The paper finds that only half of doctorates have careers in R&D, and another 8% work in occupations outside the scope of S&E. Employment choices vary throughout a career. Mobility both within- and out of S&E is especially high during the first 16 years on the job. The effects of individual and job characteristics, research productivity, and labor market conditions on transitions are also assessed.

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Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
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JEL Codes:
C41; J24; J44
Series Statement:
Working Paper No. 1137

 Record created 2018-06-13, last modified 2018-06-13

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