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Do stepping-stone jobs exist? Early career paths in the medical profession


  • Gerard J. van den Berg

    () (Department of Economics, Free University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, NL-1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Tinbergen Institute, CEPR, and IFAU-Uppsala)

  • Anders Holm

    () (Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Linnégade 22, DK-1361 Copenhagen K, Denmark)

  • Jan C. van Ours

    () (CentER for Economic Research, Tilburg University, P.O. Box 90153, NL-5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands, CEPR and IZA)


In the Netherlands, students who want to become a medical specialist have to enrol in a training program which is in limited supply. During the search for a position as trainee (or "junior medical specialist"), they may accept a temporary job as a medical assistant. We use a micro data set to investigate whether such work experience increases the probability of becoming junior medical specialist. To deal with selectivity, we simultaneously model the transitions from unemployment to trainee, from unemployment to medical assistant, from medical assistant to trainee and from medical assistant to unemployment. We find that a job as medical assistant helps to become a medical specialist.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerard J. van den Berg & Anders Holm & Jan C. van Ours, 2002. "Do stepping-stone jobs exist? Early career paths in the medical profession," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(4), pages 647-665.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:15:y:2002:i:4:p:647-665
    Note: Received: 27 July 2000/Accepted: 31 January 2001

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    24. Geerdsen, Lars Pico & Holm, Anders, 2007. "Duration of UI periods and the perceived threat effect from labour market programmes," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 639-652, June.

    More about this item


    Job search; multivariate duration models; hazard rate; education; university; treatment effect;

    JEL classification:

    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education


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