Time to the Doctorate and the Labor Market for New PhD Recipients

Jeffrey A. Groen, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

This paper considers the influence of the labor demand for new PhD recipients on time to the doctorate. I use student-level data on all doctorates awarded by U.S. universities in seven fields in the humanities and social sciences together with the annual number of job listings in each field from 1975 to 2005. According to estimates from a discrete-time duration model, an increase in job listings is associated with a decrease in expected time to degree. A simulation reveals that time-series variation in job listings explains a large share of variation over time in average time to degree within fields.

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Presented in Session 144: Higher Education