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How to boost the PHD labour market? : facts from the PHD system side


  • Benito, Mónica
  • Romera, Rosario


OCDE publications in the early 1990s on Science-Technology-Economy alerted several member countries on the prediction of a future shortage of skilled researchers and its possible impact on the economy. Consequently, on the decade 1998-2009 the number of doctorates handed out in all OECD countries grew by 31%. Doctoral holders are not only the most qualified in terms of educational attainment, but also those who are specifically trained to conduct research. Although the unemployment rate for doctoral holders is stabilized around 3% since 2006, nowadays it is becoming more and more difficult for them to find a job corresponding to their qualification. The recruitment of PhD graduates in the private sector (business, industry) should be considered a key avenue in converting research into commercialized innovations, technological progress and productivity growth of the countries. Universities and R&D and innovation policy makers are committed in boosting the PhD labour market. This paper discusses the diagnosis of the situation of the PhD job market, the careers and mobility of doctorates holders along the OCDE countries. Having analyzed the employment of PhD holders in the private sector and bearing in mind that most of the doctoral programs conform to a classical old model, our interest is focused on exploring significant relationships between the intensity of graduate’s employment in private sector and new strategies implemented in recently upgraded doctoral systems. Conclusions relating recent reforms in the PhD system established in some OECD countries and their PhD labour market are stated out. In this study we make intensive use of the data collected through a collaborative project launched by the OECD with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and Eurostat (OECD/UIS/Eurostat project) aimed at developing internationally comparable indicators on the careers and mobility of doctorate holders in 2009, the CDH project

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  • Benito, Mónica & Romera, Rosario, 2013. "How to boost the PHD labour market? : facts from the PHD system side," DES - Working Papers. Statistics and Econometrics. WS ws132824, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Estadística.
  • Handle: RePEc:cte:wsrepe:ws132824

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Jeff S. Armstrong, 2003. "Commercializing knowledge: university science, knowledge capture and firm performance in biotechnology," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Sep, pages 149-170.
    2. Schartinger, Doris & Rammer, Christian & Fischer, Manfred M. & Frohlich, Josef, 2002. "Knowledge interactions between universities and industry in Austria: sectoral patterns and determinants," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 303-328, March.
    3. De Fuentes, Claudia & Dutrénit, Gabriela, 2012. "Best channels of academia–industry interaction for long-term benefit," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(9), pages 1666-1682.
    4. Jacob, Brian A. & Lefgren, Lars, 2011. "The impact of NIH postdoctoral training grants on scientific productivity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 864-874, July.
    5. Lynne G. Zucker & Michael R. Darby & Maximo Torero, 2002. "Labor Mobility from Academe to Commerce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(3), pages 629-660, July.
    6. Cruz-Castro, Laura & Sanz-Menéndez, Luis, 2010. "Mobility versus job stability: Assessing tenure and productivity outcomes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 27-38, February.
    7. Pablo D'Este & Roberto Fontana, 2007. "What drives the emergence of entrepreneurial academics? A study on collaborative research partnerships in the UK," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 257-270, December.
    8. 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.
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    1. Benito, Mónica & Romera, Rosario, 2013. "How to boost the PhD labour market? : facts from the R&D and innovation policies side," DES - Working Papers. Statistics and Econometrics. WS ws133127, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Estadística.

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