PLOS ONE2014-01-13 1:47 AM

Are Graduate Students Rational? Evidence from the Market for Biomedical Scientists 生物医学专业的学生读这么长时间的书合理么?市场的情况给出了答案。

Abstract
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget expansion from 1998 through 2003 increased demand for biomedical research, raising relative wages and total employment in the market for biomedical scientists. However, because research doctorates in biomedical sciences can often take six years or more to complete, the full labor supply response to such changes in market conditions is not immediate, but rather is observed over a period of several years. Economic rational expectations models assume that prospective students anticipate these future changes, and also that students take into account the opportunity costs of their pursuing graduate training. Prior empirical research on student enrollment and degree completions in science and engineering (S&E) fields indicates that “cobweb” expectations prevail: that is, at least in theory, prospective graduate students respond to contemporaneous changes in market wages and employment, but do not forecast further changes that will arise by the time they complete their degrees and enter the labor market. In this article, we analyze time-series data on wages and employment of biomedical scientists versus alternative careers, on completions of S&E bachelor's degrees and biomedical sciences PhDs, and on research expenditures funded both by NIH and by biopharmaceutical firms, to examine the responsiveness of the biomedical sciences labor supply to changes in market conditions. Consistent with previous studies, we find that enrollments and completions in biomedical sciences PhD programs are responsive to market conditions at the time of students' enrollment. More striking, however, is the close correspondence between graduate student enrollments and completions, and changes in availability of NIH-funded traineeships, fellowships, and research assistantships. 论文摘要 美国国家卫生研究所从1998年到2003年间增加了支出预算,为迎合生物研究的需求,提升了相关人员的薪水,同时给整个生物研究相关增加了不少岗位。然而,要培养一个在生物研究领域的研究生博士以上通常需要花费6年甚至更多的时间来完成,而且这些劳动力的输出也可能赶不上市场需求的迅速变化,通常还需要观察一段时间甚至是几年。一个合理的收益预期模型在假设那些学生能符合未来变化的条件下建立了,同时那些学生在毕业后接受培训的这些机会成本也计算在内。此前的研究经验对于科学技术领域的学生入学时间和完成学位的时间表明了有一种“蛛网模型”的趋势:就是,至少理论上来说,未来的毕业生在可以对应现在市场需求的薪水和就业形势,但在未来变化下,随着他们在完成学位上所需要的时间增长能否有效投入劳动力市场还不能估计。在这篇论文中,我们按时间顺序研究生物科学家对比其他专业的职业在薪水和就业上的不同,包括科学与工程学士学位以及生物医学博士专业,同时也调查了不同机构如美国国家卫生研究所和生物制药公司对其资金的投入对比,以此来研究生物医学毕业生的劳动支出是否能满足市场需求的变化。与之前的研究一致,我们发现生物医学的博士项目入学和毕业时间在学生入学的时候能满足市场的需求。更为重要的是,学生入学和毕业时间以及美国国家卫生研究所的培训资助、奖学金、和研究补助奖金这些都有这紧密的联系。

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