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The Biomedical Workforce in the US: An Example of Positive Feedbacks

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  • Paula E. Stephan

Abstract

This paper makes the case that the biomedical workforce in the United States is characterized by positive feedbacks. The paper begins by setting out background information on (1) the way in which research is structured in the biomedical sciences; (2) the reward structure among biomedical researchers; and (3) the funding enterprise for biomedical sciences. After addressing these three key components, the paper examines what these mean in terms of the market for graduate stud ents, postdocs and faculty. It then explores ways in which the positive-feedback mechanisms could be dampened. It concludes that the presence of positive feedbacks in the biomedical workforce is a result of system-wide problems. Any fix requires changing incentives. This is unlikely to occur as long as the U.S. Congress and faculty have their way.

Suggested Citation

  • Paula E. Stephan, 2010. "The Biomedical Workforce in the US: An Example of Positive Feedbacks," ICER Working Papers 11-2010, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:icr:wpicer:11-2010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. How We're Unintentionally Defunding the National Institutes of Health
      by ? in Pacific Standard. Smart Journalism. Real Solutions. on 2013-11-27 20:00:00
    2. Structural problems in academic science
      by ? in Gravity's Rainbow on 2013-12-05 07:18:00

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    Cited by:

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