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How Much Do Medical Students Know About Physician Income?

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  • Sean Nicholson

Abstract

Twenty-five cohorts of medical students were asked in their first and fourth year of school to estimate contemporaneous physician income in six different specialties. The students' income estimation errors varied systematically over time and cross-sectionally by specialty and type of student. The median student underestimated physician income by 15 percent, and the median absolute value of the estimation errors was 26 percent of actual income. Students were 35 percent more accurate when estimating market income in their fourth relative to their first year, which indicates medical students learn a considerable amount before choosing a specialty.

Suggested Citation

  • Sean Nicholson, 2004. "How Much Do Medical Students Know About Physician Income?," NBER Working Papers 10542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10542 Note: HE LS
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 7-36, October.
    2. Jeff Dominitz, 1998. "Earnings Expectations, Revisions, And Realizations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 374-388, August.
    3. Sean Nicholson & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2002. "Physician Income Prediction Errors: Sources and Implications for Behavior," NBER Working Papers 8907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Charles T. Clotfelter & Michael Rothschild, 1993. "Studies of Supply and Demand in Higher Education," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot93-1, January.
    5. Das, Marcel & van Soest, Arthur, 1997. "Expected and realized income changes: Evidence from the Dutch socio-economic panel," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 137-154, January.
    6. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Adolescent Econometricians: How Do Youth Infer the Returns to Schooling?," NBER Chapters,in: Studies of Supply and Demand in Higher Education, pages 43-60 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. repec:tiu:tiutis:bdbe10dd-649c-4521-ab28-7aa051a5bf82 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. J. Dominitz & C. F. Manski, "undated". "Using expectations data to study subjective income expectations," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1050-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    9. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-26.
    10. Sean Nicholson, 2002. "Physician Specialty Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 816-847, October.
    11. Sean Nicholson & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2001. "Physician Income Expectations and Specialty Choice," NBER Working Papers 8536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Julian R. Betts, 1996. "What Do Students Know about Wages? Evidence from a Survey of Undergraduates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 27-56.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeffrey E. Harris & Beatriz G. López-Valcárcel & Patricia Barber & Vicente Ortún, 2014. "Efficiency versus Equity in the Allocation of Medical Specialty Training Positions in Spain: A Health Policy Simulation Based on a Discrete Choice Model," NBER Working Papers 19896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. repec:eee:jeborg:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:135-150 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Schweri, Juerg & Hartog, Joop, 2014. "Do wage expectations influence the decision to enroll in nursing college?," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100542, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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