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Stimulating Graduates' Research-Oriented Careers: Does Academic Research Matter?

  • Mauro Sylos Labini
  • Natalia Zinovyeva

This paper investigates whether the quality of higher education and, in particular, its research performance stimulate graduates' research-oriented careers. More specifically, exploiting a very rich data-set on university graduates and the higher education institutions they attended, we empirically study whether graduates from universities and programs that display better academic research records are more likely to be enroled in PhDs or employed as researchers three years after graduation. Controlling for a number of individual and university covariates and using different proxies for research performance, we find that the likelihood of entering a research-oriented career increases with the quality of academic research. Notably, the inclusion of university fixed-effects shows that this result does not stem from unobserved university heterogeneity. Our finding is stronger for graduates in science, medicine, and engineering.

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Paper provided by FEDEA in its series Working Papers with number 2009-21.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaddt:2009-21
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  1. Moretti, Enrico, 2004. "Estimating the social return to higher education: evidence from longitudinal and repeated cross-sectional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 175-212.
  2. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Caroline Hoxby & Andreu Mas-Colell & André Sapir, 2007. "Why Reform Europe's Universities?," Policy Briefs 34, Bruegel.
  3. Dosi, Giovanni & Llerena, Patrick & Labini, Mauro Sylos, 2006. "The relationships between science, technologies and their industrial exploitation: An illustration through the myths and realities of the so-called `European Paradox'," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1450-1464, December.
  4. Bruno Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, 2008. "Europe's R&D: Missing the Wrong Targets?," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 220-225, July.
  5. Laura Abramovsky & Rupert Harrison & Helen Simpson, 2007. "University Research and the Location of Business R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages C114-C141, 03.
  6. Paul M. Romer, 2001. "Should the Government Subsidize Supply or Demand in the Market for Scientists and Engineers?," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 1, pages 221-252 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Francesco Lissoni & Bulat Sanditov & Gianluca Tarasconi, 2006. "The Keins Database on Academic Inventors: Methodology and Contents," KITeS Working Papers 181, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Sep 2006.
  8. Bas Jacobs & Frederick Van Der Ploeg, 2006. "Guide to reform of higher education: a European perspective," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 535-592, 07.
  9. Manuel Bagues & Mauro Sylos Labini & Natalia Zinovyeva, 2008. "Differential Grading Standards and University Funding: Evidence from Italy," Working Papers 2008-07, FEDEA.
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