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Private Sector Scientists and Engineers and the Transition to Management


  • Jeff Biddle
  • Karen Roberts


The authors present and empirically test a self-selection/job matching model of a common transition in the careers of scientists and engineers-the move from technical to managerial jobs. Technical and managerial ability are assumed to be positively but not perfectly correlated, so that technical job performance provides information about both technical and managerial ability upon which to base the decision to become a manager. NSF panel data provides evidence that managerial and technical productivity are positively correlated, and that information received while on the job does influence the worker's selection of a managerial or a technical career path.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeff Biddle & Karen Roberts, 1994. "Private Sector Scientists and Engineers and the Transition to Management," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(1), pages 82-107.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:29:y:1994:i:1:p:82-107

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard V. Burkhauser, 1979. "The Pension Acceptance Decision of Older Workers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 63-75.
    2. repec:hoo:wpaper:e-88-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Steven G. Allen & Robert L. Clark & Daniel A. Sumner, 1986. "Postretirement Adjustments of Pension Benefits," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(1), pages 118-137.
    4. Phillip B. Levine & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1988. "The Baby Boom's Legacy: Relative Wages in the 21st Century," NBER Working Papers 2501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Zvi Bodie & John B. Shoven, 1983. "Financial Aspects of the United States Pension System," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bodi83-1, January.
    6. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-1284, December.
    7. Stock, James H & Wise, David A, 1990. "Pensions, the Option Value of Work, and Retirement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1151-1180, September.
    8. Hutchens, Robert, 1986. "Delayed Payment Contracts and a Firm's Propensity to Hire Older Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(4), pages 439-457, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gates, Susan M. & Ringel, Jeanne S. & Santibanez, Lucrecia & Guarino, Cassandra & Ghosh-Dastidar, Bonnie & Brown, Abigail, 2006. "Mobility and turnover among school principals," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 289-302, June.
    2. Lassibille, Gerard, 2001. "Earnings distribution among Spanish engineers: research vs. non-research occupations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 673-680, April.
    3. Sullivan, Paul, 2010. "Empirical evidence on occupation and industry specific human capital," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 567-580, June.
    4. Natalia Mishagina, 2007. "Empirical Analysis of Career Transitions of Sciences and Engineering Doctorates in the US," Working Papers 1137, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    5. Mueller, Pamela, 2005. "Exploring the knowledge filter: how entrepreneurship and university-industry relations drive economic growth," Freiberg Working Papers 2005,17, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
    6. Caroline Proulx & Michel Tremblay & Thierry Wils, 1998. "Determinants of Desired Career Paths among Canadian Engineers," CIRANO Working Papers 98s-15, CIRANO.
    7. Lee, Hsing-fen & Miozzo, Marcela & Laredo, Philippe, 2010. "Career patterns and competences of PhDs in science and engineering in the knowledge economy: The case of graduates from a UK research-based university," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 869-881, September.
    8. Peterson Jonathan & Alain Roger, 2009. "Profiles: An Exploratory Study of Business School Participants in France," Post-Print halshs-00681275, HAL.
    9. Daniel Kuehn & Hal Salzman, 2017. "The Engineering Labor Market: An Overview of Recent Trends," NBER Chapters,in: U.S. Engineering in a Global Economy National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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