NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Internationalization of U.S. Doctorate Education

John Bound, Sarah Turner, Patrick Walsh

NBER Working Paper No. 14792
Issued in March 2009
NBER Program(s):   ED   LS

The representation of a large number of students born outside the United States among the ranks of doctorate recipients from U.S. universities is one of the most significant transformations in U.S. graduate education and the international market for highly-trained workers in science and engineering in the last quarter century. Students from outside the U.S. accounted for 51% of PhD recipients in science and engineering fields in 2003, up from 27% in 1973. In the physical sciences, engineering and economics the representation of foreign students among PhD recipients is yet more striking; among doctorate recipients in 2003, those from outside the U.S. accounted for 50% of degrees in the physical sciences, 67% in engineering and 68% in economics. Our analysis highlights the important role of changes in demand among foreign born in explaining the growth and distribution of doctorates awarded in science and engineering. Expansion in undergraduate degree receipt in many countries has a direct effect on the demand for advanced training in the U.S. Changes in the supply side of the U.S. graduate education market may also differentially affect the representation of foreign students in U.S. universities. Supply shocks such as increases in federal support for the sciences will have relatively large effects on the representation in the U.S. of doctorate students from countries where demand is relatively elastic. Understanding the determinants -- and consequences -- of changes over time in the representation of foreign born students among doctorate recipients from U.S. universities informs the design of policies affecting the science and engineering workforce.

download in pdf format
   (231 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the July 2009 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

This paper is available as PDF (231 K) or via email.

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Published: Internationalization of U.S. Doctorate Education, John Bound, Sarah Turner, Patrick Walsh, in Science and Engineering Careers in the United States: An Analysis of Markets and Employment (2009), University of Chicago Press (p. 59 - 97)

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Freeman w14962 What Does Global Expansion of Higher Education Mean for the US?
Borjas w10349 Do Foreign Students Crowd Out Native Students from Graduate Programs?
Bound, Turner, and Walsh Internationalization of U.S. Doctorate Education
Borjas w12085 Immigration in High-Skill Labor Markets: The Impact of Foreign Students on the Earnings of Doctorates
Grogger and Hanson w18780 Attracting Talent: Location Choices of Foreign-Born PhDs in the US
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us