Educational Mismatch among PhDs: Determinants and Consequences

Keith A Bender, John Heywood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Using the Survey of Doctoral Recipients, the magnitude and consequences of job mismatch are estimated for Ph.D.s in science. Approximately one-sixth of academics and nearly one-half of nonacademics report some degree of mismatch. The influence of job mismatch is estimated for three job outcomes: earnings, job satisfaction and turnover. Surprisingly large and robust influences emerge. Mismatch is associated with substantially lower earnings, lower job satisfaction and a higher rate of turnover. These results persist across a variety of specifications and hold for both academics and nonacademics. Estimates of the determinants of mismatch indicate that older workers and those in rapidly changing disciplines are more likely to be mismatched and there is a suggestion that women are more likely to be mismatched.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationScience and Engineering Careers in the United States
Subtitle of host publicationAn analysis of markets and employment
EditorsRichard Freeman, Daniel Goroff
Place of PublicationChicago, IL
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)0-226-26189-1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • scientific careers
  • mismatch
  • earnings differentials
  • job satisfaction


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