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The Biomedical Workforce in the US: An Example of Positive Feedbacks

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  • Paula E. Stephan

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Abstract

This paper makes the case that the biomedical workforce in the United States is characterized by positive feedbacks. The paper begins by setting out background information on (1) the way in which research is structured in the biomedical sciences; (2) the reward structure among biomedical researchers; and (3) the funding enterprise for biomedical sciences. After addressing these three key components, the paper examines what these mean in terms of the market for graduate stud ents, postdocs and faculty. It then explores ways in which the positive-feedback mechanisms could be dampened. It concludes that the presence of positive feedbacks in the biomedical workforce is a result of system-wide problems. Any fix requires changing incentives. This is unlikely to occur as long as the U.S. Congress and faculty have their way.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by ICER - International Centre for Economic Research in its series ICER Working Papers with number 11-2010.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:11-2010

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  1. Patrick Gaulé & Mario Piacentini, 2013. "Chinese Graduate Students and U.S. Scientific Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 698-701, May.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. How We're Unintentionally Defunding the National Institutes of Health
    by ? in Pacific Standard. Smart Journalism. Real Solutions. on 2013-11-27 14:00:00
  2. Structural problems in academic science
    by ? in Gravity's Rainbow on 2013-12-05 01:18:00
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Cited by:
  1. Antonelli Cristiano & Ferraris Gianluigi, 2012. "Endogenous knowledge externalities: an agent based simulation model where schumpeter meets Marshall," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201202, University of Turin.

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