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Support for Evolution in the Knowledge-Based Economy:Demand for PhDs in Estonia


  • Jaan Masso

    () (Senior Research Fellow,University of Tartu,Faculty of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Raul Eamets

    () (Professor of Economics,University of Tartu,Faculty of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Jaanika Meriküll

    (Research Fellow,University of Tartu,Faculty of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Hanna Kanep

    (PhD student,University of Tartu,Faculty of Economics and Business Administration)


The doctoral workforce globally constitutes a rather small segment of the labour market. However, PhDs provide crucial input for educational and R&D activities, traditionally through employment in academia, and nowadays increasingly in the public and private sectors. This paper aims to estimate the need for new PhDs in the Estonian academic, public, and private sectors for the period 2007-2012. Need in the academic and public sectors is estimated by a survey of employers (e.g. universities, research institutes, ministries); private sector need is derived from forecasted R&D expenditure in the business sector. Results show that expected demand for PhDs is significantly lower in the public and private sectors than in academia. Total demand over all three sectors is rather high, annually more than 10% of the number of PhDs, caused both by high replacement demand from upcoming retirements and by growth demand. The policy implication of our results is that planned increase in PhDs should correspond with other developments in educational and R&D policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Jaan Masso & Raul Eamets & Jaanika Meriküll & Hanna Kanep, 2009. "Support for Evolution in the Knowledge-Based Economy:Demand for PhDs in Estonia," Baltic Journal of Economics, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies, vol. 9(1), pages 5-30, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bic:journl:v:9:y:2009:i:1:p:5-30

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Isabelle Recotillet, 2003. "Availability and Characteristics of Surveys on the Destination of Doctorate Recipients in OECD Countries," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2003/9, OECD Publishing.
    2. Marey P. & Grip A. de & Cörvers F., 2001. "Forecasting the Labour Markets for Research Scientsits and Engineers in the European Union," ROA Working Paper 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    3. Cartter, Allan M, 1971. "Whither the Market for Academic Economists?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 305-310, May.
    4. Caroline Lanciano-morandat & Hiroatsu Nohara, 2003. "The New Production of Young Scientists (PhDs) A Labour Market Analysis in International Perspective," DRUID Working Papers 03-04, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    5. Eamets, Raul & Masso, Jaan, 2004. "Labour Market Flexibility and Employment Protection Regulation in the Baltic States," IZA Discussion Papers 1147, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Hansen, W L, et al, 1980. "Forecasting the Market for New Ph.D. Economists," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(1), pages 49-63, March.
    7. Albert J. Sumell & Paula E. Stephan & James D. Adams, 2009. "Capturing Knowledge: The Location Decision of New Ph.D.s Working in Industry," NBER Chapters,in: Science and Engineering Careers in the United States: An Analysis of Markets and Employment, pages 257-287 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. V Mangematin & S Robin, 2003. "The two faces of PhD students: Management of early careers of French PhDs in life sciences," Science and Public Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(6), pages 405-414, December.
    9. Laudeline Auriol, 2007. "Labour Market Characteristics and International Mobility of Doctorate Holders: Results for Seven Countries," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2007/2, OECD Publishing.
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    More about this item


    PhD; higher education; research and development; academic fields;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights


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