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The Hazards of Doing a PhD: An Analysis of Completion and Withdrawal Rates of British PhDs in the 1980s

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  • Booth, Alison L
  • Satchell, Stephen E

Abstract

The paper examines UK PhD completion and withdrawal rates, in a competing risks framework, using the 1986 National Survey of 1980 Graduates. The statistical problem of thresholding of completion data is also addressed. We argue that our results suggest that there are problems with the use of PhD completion rates as performance indicators for academic departments. The principal results of the analysis are as follows. First, research council funding significantly increases only the male completion rate. Second, male and female completion rates are highest where the subject area of research is in the sciences or engineering. Third, ability increases the completion rate for men, but for women increases both the withdrawal and completion rates. Finally, a significant maternal role model effect is observed for female completions.

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File URL: http://www.cepr.org/pubs/dps/DP765.asp
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 765.

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Date of creation: Jun 1993
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:765

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Keywords: Competing Risks; Hazard Rates; Higher Education; PhDs;

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Cited by:
  1. Francesco Giavazzi & Pietro Garibaldi & Andrea Ichino & Enrico Rettore, 2009. "College cost and time to complete a degree: Evidence from tuition discontinuities," Working Papers 354, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  2. Wendy A. Stock & T. Aldrich Finegan & John J. Siegfried, 2006. "Attrition in Economics Ph.D. Programs," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0608, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.

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