A Revealed Preference Analysis of PhD Students’ Choices Over Employment Outcomes

63 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2014 Last revised: 29 Oct 2015

See all articles by Annamaria Conti

Annamaria Conti

University of Lausanne

Fabiana Visentin

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne - CDM - CEMI

Date Written: August 30, 2014

Abstract

We develop a revealed preference approach to elicit science and engineering PhDs’ preferences over employment outcomes, exploiting cohort size variations. Depending on whether pecuniary and non-pecuniary rewards are sticky or not, increments in the PhDs’ cohort size decrease either the availability of their ideal employment categories or the related compensations. In both cases, the PhDs’ preferred employment categories are revealed to be the ones that are relatively less chosen when the PhDs’ cohort is large and relatively more so when it is small. Examining two major European universities, we find that PhDs equally value employment in highly-ranked universities and R&D-intensive companies. Moreover, these employment categories are preferred to low-ranked universities, non-R&D-intensive firms, and public administration. There is preference heterogeneity across PhDs depending on their research field.

Keywords: Revealed preferences, PhD students, employment choices, cohort size variations

JEL Classification: J00, J2, J6, I2

Suggested Citation

Conti, Annamaria and Visentin, Fabiana, A Revealed Preference Analysis of PhD Students’ Choices Over Employment Outcomes (August 30, 2014). Research Policy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2495766 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2495766

Annamaria Conti (Contact Author)

University of Lausanne ( email )

Unil Dorigny, Batiment Internef
Lausanne, 1015
Switzerland

Fabiana Visentin

Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne - CDM - CEMI ( email )

Station 5
1015 Lausanne
Switzerland

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