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(Endogenous) occupational choices and job satisfaction among recent PhD recipients: evidence from Catalonia

  • Antonio Di Paolo

    ()

    (AQR – IREA, University of Barcelona, Avda Diagonal, 690, 08034 Barcelona)

Drawing on data from two successive cohorts of PhD graduates, this paper analyses differences in overall job satisfaction and specific job domain satisfaction among PhDs employed in different sectors four years after completing their doctorate degrees. Covariate-adjusted job satisfaction differentials suggest that, compared to faculty members, PhD holders employed outside traditional academic and research jobs are more satisfied with the pecuniary facets of their work (principally, because of higher earnings), but significantly less satisfied with the content of their job and with how well the job matches their skills (and, in the case of public sector workers, with their prospects of promotion). The evidence regarding the overall job satisfaction of the PhD holders indicates that working in the public or private sectors is associated with less work well-being, which cannot be fully compensated by the better pecuniary facets of the job. It also appears that being employed in academia or in research centres provides almost the same perceived degree of satisfaction with the job and with its four specific domains. We also take into account the endogenous sorting of PhD holders into different occupations based on latent personal traits that might be related to job satisfaction. The selectivity-corrected job satisfaction differentials reveal the importance of self-selection based on unobservable traits, and confirm the existence of a certain penalisation for working in occupations other than academia or research, which is especially marked in the case of satisfaction with job content and job-skills match. The paper presents additional interesting evidence about the determinants of occupational choice among PhD holders, highlighting the relevance of certain academic attributes (especially PhD funding and pre-and-post-doc research mobility) in affecting the likelihood of being employed in academia, in a research centre or in other public or private sector job four years after completing their doctorate programme.

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File URL: http://www.pcb.ub.edu/xreap/aplicacio/fitxers/XREAP2012-21.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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File URL: http://www.pcb.ub.edu/xreap/aplicacio/fitxers/XREAP2012-21.pdf
File Function: Revised version, 2012
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP) in its series Working Papers with number XREAP2012-21.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision: Dec 2012
Handle: RePEc:xrp:wpaper:xreap2012-21
Contact details of provider: Postal: Espai de Recerca en Economia, Facultat de Ciències Econòmiques i Empresarials, Universitat de Barcelona, c/ Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, 1-11, 08034 Barcelona
Phone: +34+934039653
Web page: http://www.pcb.ub.edu/xreap
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  1. Ernest Miguele & Rosina Moreno, 2012. "Do labour mobility and networks foster geographical knowledge diffusion? The case of European regions," Working Papers XREAP2012-14, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Jul 2012.
  2. Vicente Royuela, 2012. "What about people in European Regional Science?," Working Papers XREAP2012-12, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised May 2012.
  3. Keith A. Bender & John S. Heywood, 2006. "Job Satisfaction Of The Highly Educated: The Role Of Gender, Academic Tenure, And Earnings," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 53(2), pages 253-279, 05.
  4. Natalia Danzer, 2013. "Job Satisfaction and Self-Selection into the Public or Private Sector: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 169, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  5. van Praag, B. M. S. & Frijters, P. & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, A., 2003. "The anatomy of subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 29-49, May.
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  7. John S. Heywood & W. S. Siebert & Xiangdong Wei, 2002. "Worker Sorting and Job Satisfaction: The Case of Union and Government Jobs," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 55(4), pages 595-609, July.
  8. Clark, Andrew E. & Senik, Claudia, 2004. "The (Unexpected) Structure of "Rents" on the French and British Labour Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 1438, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  11. Sabharwal, Meghna, 2011. "Job satisfaction patterns of scientists and engineers by status of birth," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 853-863, July.
  12. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-41, May.
  13. Partha Deb & Pravin K. Trivedi, 2006. "Maximum simulated likelihood estimation of a negative binomial regression model with multinomial endogenous treatment," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(2), pages 246-255, June.
  14. Peter Sloane & Melanie Ward, 2001. "Cohort effects and job satisfaction of academics," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(12), pages 787-791.
  15. Philip Stevens, 2005. "The job satisfaction of English academics and their intentions to quit academe," Labor and Demography 0512005, EconWPA.
  16. Philippe Moguerou, 2002. "Job satisfaction among US Ph.D. graduates: the effects of gender and employment sector," Labor and Demography 0204002, EconWPA.
  17. Marta Arespa, 2011. "Macroeconomics of extensive margins: a simple model," Working Papers XREAP2011-19, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Nov 2011.
  18. Partha Deb & Pravin K. Trivedi, 2006. "Specification and simulated likelihood estimation of a non-normal treatment-outcome model with selection: Application to health care utilization," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 9(2), pages 307-331, 07.
  19. Marta Arespa, 2011. "A New Open Economy Macroeconomic Model with Endogenous Portfolio Diversifi cation and Firms Entry," Working Papers XREAP2011-15, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Oct 2011.
  20. Keith A. Bender & John S. Heywood, 2009. "Educational Mismatch among Ph.D.s: Determinants and Consequences," NBER Chapters, in: Science and Engineering Careers in the United States: An Analysis of Markets and Employment, pages 229-255 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Anna Matas & Josep Lluís Raymond, 2006. "Economic development and changes in car ownership patterns," Working Papers CREAP2006-01, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Jun 2006.
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