2009/12 LEM Working Paper Series

Stimulating Graduates' Research-Oriented Careers: Does Academic Research Matter ?

Mauro Sylos Labini, Natalia Zinovyeva
Academic research, labor market for scientist, post-graduate education

  JEL Classifications
I23, O30, O38

This paper investigates whether the quality of higher education and, in particular, its research performance stimulate graduates' research-oriented careers. More specifically, exploiting a very rich data-set on university graduates and the higher education institutions they attended, we empirically study whether graduates from universities and programs that display better academic research records are more likely to be enroled in PhDs or employed as researchers three years after graduation. Controlling for a number of individual and university covariates and using different proxies for research performance, we find that the likelihood of entering a research-oriented career increases with the quality of academic research. Notably, the inclusion of university fixed-effects shows that this result does not stem from unobserved university heterogeneity. Our finding is stronger for graduates in science, medicine, and engineering.

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