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Choice of Country by the Foreign Born for PhD and Postdoctoral Study: A Sixteen-Country Perspective

  • Paula Stephan
  • Chiara Franzoni
  • Giuseppe Scellato

We analyze the decisions of foreign-born PhD and postdoctoral trainees to come to the United States vs. go to another country for training. Data are drawn from the GlobSci survey of scientists in sixteen countries working in four fields. We find that individuals come to the U.S. to train because of the prestige of its programs and/or career prospects. They are discouraged from training in the United States because of the perceived lifestyle. The availability of exchange programs elsewhere discourages coming for PhD study; the relative unattractiveness of fringe benefits discourages coming for postdoctoral study. Countries that have been nibbling at the U.S.-PhD and postdoc share are Australia, Germany, and Switzerland; France and Great Britain have gained appeal in attracting postdocs, but not in attracting PhD students. Canada has made gains in neither.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18809.

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Date of creation: Feb 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18809
Note: ED LS PR
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  1. Grant C. Black & Paula E. Stephan, 2010. "The Economics of University Science and the Role of Foreign Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars," NBER Chapters, in: American Universities in a Global Market, pages 129-161 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Michel Beine & Romain Noël & Lionel Ragot, 2013. "The determinants of international mobility of students," EconomiX Working Papers 2013-26, University of Paris West - Nanterre la Défense, EconomiX.
  3. Ofer Malamud, 2010. "The Structure of European Higher Education in the Wake of the Bologna Reforms," NBER Chapters, in: American Universities in a Global Market, pages 205-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Donata Bessey, 2012. "International student migration to Germany," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 345-361, February.
  5. Giuseppe Scellato & Chiara Franzoni & Paula Stephan, 2012. "Mobile Scientists and International Networks," NBER Working Papers 18613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Chiara Franzoni & Giuseppe Scellato & Paula Stephan, 2012. "Foreign Born Scientists: Mobility Patterns for Sixteen Countries," NBER Working Papers 18067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Nahid Aslanbeigui & Veronica Montecinos, 1998. "Foreign Students in U.S. Doctoral Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 171-182, Summer.
  8. Paula Stephan & Jennifer Ma, 2005. "The Increased Frequency and Duration of the Postdoctorate Career Stage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 71-75, May.
  9. John Bound & Sarah Turner & Patrick Walsh, 2009. "Internationalization of U.S. Doctorate Education," NBER Working Papers 14792, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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