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The Role of Education in Selection and Allocation in the Labour Market: An Empirical Study in the Medical Field

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Listed:
  • Judith Semeijn
  • Rolf van der Velden
  • Hans Heijke
  • Cees van der Vleuten
  • Henny Boshuizen

Abstract

In this study, we explore the role of education in explaining the labour market outcomes for a sample of graduates in medicine. More specifically, the following research question is answered: To what extent are labour market outcomes of physicians explained by the skills acquired in education, as indicated in the theory of human capital, or by competences already present at the start of education, as suggested by the screening theory? The study uses separate measurements of competence at the start and at the end of education. Moreover, we use a direct measurement of competence development during medical education. This enables us to disentangle the effects of the suggested mechanisms. The results suggest that after graduation human capital factors do not explain subsequent differences in labour market outcomes. The medical degree seems a sufficient signal of screening device as such. However, selection processes during education take place on human capital acquired before and during medical education.

Suggested Citation

  • Judith Semeijn & Rolf van der Velden & Hans Heijke & Cees van der Vleuten & Henny Boshuizen, 2005. "The Role of Education in Selection and Allocation in the Labour Market: An Empirical Study in the Medical Field," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(4), pages 449-477.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:13:y:2005:i:4:p:449-477
    DOI: 10.1080/09645290500252084
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrew Weiss, 1995. "Human Capital vs. Signalling Explanations of Wages," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 133-154, Fall.
    2. 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.
    3. Cawley, John & Heckman, James & Vytlacil, Edward, 2001. "Three observations on wages and measured cognitive ability," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 419-442, September.
    4. Quinn, Robert & Price, Jamie, 1998. "The demand for medical education: an augmented human capital approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 337-347, June.
    5. James Thornton, 2000. "Physician choice of medical specialty: do economic incentives matter?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(11), pages 1419-1428.
    6. Gjerberg, Elisabeth, 2002. "Gender similarities in doctors' preferences -- and gender differences in final specialisation," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 591-605, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Doyle Jr., Joseph J. & Ewer, Steven M. & Wagner, Todd H., 2010. "Returns to physician human capital: Evidence from patients randomized to physician teams," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 866-882, December.
    2. Joseph J. Doyle, Jr. & Steven M. Ewer & Todd H. Wagner, 2008. "Returns to Physician Human Capital: Analyzing Patients Randomized to Physician Teams," NBER Working Papers 14174, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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