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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.

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  • 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
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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. 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.
    3. Sean Nicholson, 2002. "Physician Specialty Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 816-847, October.
    4. 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.
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    7. Jeff Dominitz, 1998. "Earnings Expectations, Revisions, And Realizations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 374-388, August.
    8. 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.
    9. 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-J.
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    11. repec:tiu:tiutis:bdbe10dd-649c-4521-ab28-7aa051a5bf82 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Sean Nicholson & Nicholas S. Souleles, 2001. "Physician Income Expectations and Specialty Choice," NBER Working Papers 8536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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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. Jeffrey E. Harris & Beatriz G. Lopez‐Valcarcel & Patricia Barber & Vicente Ortún, 2017. "Allocation of Residency Training Positions in Spain: Contextual Effects on Specialty Preferences," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 371-386, March.
    3. Schweri, Juerg & Hartog, Joop, 2017. "Do wage expectations predict college enrollment? Evidence from healthcare," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 135-150.

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    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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