Physician Income Expectations and Specialty Choice
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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