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The Selection of Skills into Sectors: Evidence from the Market for Economists

Boehm, Michael J. and Watzinger, Martin (2010): The Selection of Skills into Sectors: Evidence from the Market for Economists.

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Abstract

We study the selection of skills into sectors in an environment with (1) exogenous variation in the attractiveness of sectors and (2) good measurability of skills. More concretely, we examine how the selection into leading economics PhD programs varies with the business cycle and we measure PhD’s skills by their publication success. Our results strongly support a selection story: cohorts applying fora PhD- and graduating from a PhD during recession achieve a substantially better publication record if they stay in academia after graduating.

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