The Impact of Labor Demand on Time to the Doctorate
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Groen, Jeffrey A.
The goal of this paper is to estimate the impact of labor demand for new PhD recipients on time to the doctorate. Empirical investigation of this relationship in previous research was hampered by the difficulty of measuring labor demand. I construct a measure of labor demand based on the annual number of job listings from 1975 to 2005 in seven fields in the humanities and social sciences. My empirical strategy relates variation over time in the number of job listings within a field to the timing of completion using student-level data on all doctorates awarded in these fields by U.S. universities. Estimates indicate that the number of job listings is not correlated with the probability of completion and expected time to degree. This finding implies that cyclical variation in labor demand is not responsible for changes in time to degree within fields.
higher education; doctorate programs; PhDs; labor demand
Required Publisher Statement: Published by the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute, ILR School, Cornell University.