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Physician Income Expectations and Specialty Choice

  • Sean Nicholson
  • Nicholas S. Souleles

In spite of the important role of income expectations in economics, economists know little about how people actually form these expectations. We use a unique data set that contains the explicit income expectations of medical students over a 25-year time period to examine how students form income expectations. We examine whether students condition their expectations on their own ability, contemporaneous physician income, and the ex post income of physicians in their medical school cohort. We then test whether a model that uses the students' explicit income expectations to predict their specialty choices has a better fit than a model that assumes income expectations are formed statically, and a model that bases income expectations on ex post income.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8536.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8536.

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Date of creation: Oct 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8536
Note: EFG HC LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-121744 is not listed on IDEAS
  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. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S7-36, October.
  4. 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.
  5. Sean Nicholson, 2002. "Physician Specialty Choice under Uncertainty," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 816-847, October.
  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. Frank A. Sloan, 1970. "Lifetime earnings and physicians' choice of specialty," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 24(1), pages 47-56, October.
  8. Jeff Dominitz, 1998. "Earnings Expectations, Revisions, And Realizations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 374-388, August.
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