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Academic careers: a cross-country perspective

  • Jürgen Janger
  • Anna Strauss
  • David Campbell

Asymmetric international mobility of highly talented scientists is well documented. We try contributing to the explanation of this phenomenon, looking at the “competitiveness” of higher education systems in terms of being able to attract talented scientists in their field. We characterise countries’ capability to offer attractive entry positions into academic careers using the results of a large scale experiment on the determinants of job choice in academia. Examined areas refer to the level of salaries, quality of life, PhD-studies, career perspectives, research organisation, balance between teaching and research, funding and probability of working with high quality peers. Our results indicate that overall, the US research universities offer the most attractive jobs for early stage researchers, consistent with the asymmetric flow of talented scientists to the US. Behind the US is a group of well performing European countries, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK. Austria and Germany are next, closely followed by France, which in turn is followed by Italy. Spain and Poland are, according to our results, least able to offer attractive entry positions to an academic career.

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Paper provided by WWWforEurope in its series WWWforEurope Working Papers series with number 37.

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Length: 69
Date of creation: Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:feu:wfewop:y:2013:m:8:d:0:i:37
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Order Information: Postal: WWWforEurope Project Office Austrian Institute of Economic Research Arsenal Objekt 20 A-1030 Vienna
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  1. Hunter, Rosalind S. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Charlton, Bruce G., 2009. "The Elite Brain Drain," IZA Discussion Papers 4005, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Michele Pezzoni & Valerio Sterzi & Francesco Lissoni, 2009. "Career progress in centralized academic systems: social capital and institutions in France and Italy," KITeS Working Papers 026, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised 2009.
  3. Rosalind S Hunter, 2009. "The Elite Brain Drain," Working Papers id:2048, eSocialSciences.
  4. Frederic DOCQUIER & Hillel RAPOPORT, 2009. "Documenting the brain drain of « la creme de la creme »: Three case-studies on international migration at the upper tail of the education distribution," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2009031, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  5. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Caroline Hoxby & Andreu Mas-Colell & André Sapir, . "Higher aspirations: an agenda for reforming European universities," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 1, 3.
  6. Paula Stephan & Chiara Franzoni & Giuseppe Scellato, 2013. "Choice of Country by the Foreign Born for PhD and Postdoctoral Study: A Sixteen-Country Perspective," NBER Working Papers 18809, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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