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To Be or Not to Be... a Scientist?

  • Chevalier, Arnaud

    ()

    (IZA)

Policy makers generally advocate that to remain competitive countries need to train more scientists. Employers regularly complain of qualified scientist shortages blaming the higher wages in other occupations for luring graduates out of scientific occupations. Using a survey of recent British graduates from Higher Education we report that fewer than 50% of science graduates work in a scientific occupation three years after graduation. The wage premium observed for science graduates stems from occupational choice rather than a science degree. Accounting for selection into subject and occupation, the returns to working in a scientific occupation reaches 18% and there is no return to a science degree outside scientific occupations. Finally, scientists working in a scientific occupation are more satisfied with their educational and career choices, which suggests that those not working in these occupations have been pushed out of careers in science.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6353.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6353
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  1. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2002. "Ability Sorting and the Returns to College Major," Working Papers 02-26, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  2. repec:lan:wpaper:2153 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. repec:lan:wpaper:2155 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. repec:lan:wpaper:2409 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. James D. Adams, 2009. "Is the U.S. Losing Its Preeminence in Higher Education?," NBER Working Papers 15233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Keith A. Bender & John S. Heywood, 2009. "Educational Mismatch among Ph.D.s: Determinants and Consequences," NBER Chapters, in: Science and Engineering Careers in the United States: An Analysis of Markets and Employment, pages 229-255 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:lan:wpaper:2271 is not listed on IDEAS
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