Educational Mismatch among Ph.D.s

Keith A. Bender and John S. Heywood

in Science and Engineering Careers in the United States

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780226261898
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226261904 | DOI:
Educational Mismatch among Ph.D.s

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This chapter examines the consequences of job mismatch—lack of fit between education and jobs—among the most highly-educated workers in the economy. These workers of the knowledge economy are often thought to be critical for technological progress and growth. The evidence assembled here uses three related measures of mismatch from the Survey of Doctoral Recipients and estimates their influence on three job outcomes: earnings, job satisfaction, and turnover. Mismatch is associated with worse outcomes: lower wages, lower job satisfaction, and higher turnover. This persists across substantial variations in estimation and holds for academics and nonacademics and for men and women. The size of these influences is surprisingly large, including a double-digit reduction in earnings, a 20 percent increase in the likelihood of being dissatisfied, and a one-third increase in the turnover rate. The chapter attempts to estimate the determinants of mismatch and suggests that there may be substantial vintage effects at work as the fields in which the knowledge base changes most quickly appear to be associated with a greater chance of being mismatched.

Keywords: sciences; engineering; United States; job mismatch; educational mismatch; doctoral education

Chapter.  10554 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Econometrics and Mathematical Economics

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