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Do Doctoral Students' Financial Support Patterns Affect Their Times-To-Degree and Completion Probabilities?

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  • Ronald G. Ehrenberg
  • Panagiotis G. Mavros

Abstract

Our paper uses data on all graduate students who entered PhD programs in four fields during a 25-year period at a single major doctorate producing university to estimate how graduate student financial support patterns influence their completion rates and times-to-degree. Competing risk "duration" or "hazard function" models are estimated. Wefind that completion rates, and the mean durations of their times-to-completion and to dropout are all sensitive to the types of financial support the students received. Other things held constant (including measured student ability), students who receive fellowships or research assistantships have higher completion rates and shorter times-to-degree than students who receive teaching assistantships or tuition waivers, or who are totally self-supporting. A major finding is that the impact of financial support patterns on the fraction of students who complete programs is much larger than its impact on mean durations of times-to-degree or to dropout.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Panagiotis G. Mavros, 1995. "Do Doctoral Students' Financial Support Patterns Affect Their Times-To-Degree and Completion Probabilities?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(3), pages 581-609.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:30:y:1995:i:3:p:581-609
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-679, June.
    2. Clotfelter, Charles T. & Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Getz, Malcolm & Siegfried, John J., 1992. "Economic Challenges in Higher Education," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226110509, July.
    3. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    4. David W. Breneman & Dean T. Jamison & Roy Radner, 1976. "The Ph.D. Production Process," NBER Chapters,in: Education as an Industry, pages 1-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Charles T. Clotfelter & Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Malcolm Getz & John J. Siegfried, 1991. "Introduction to "Economic Challenges in Higher Education"," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Challenges in Higher Education, pages 1-16 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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