NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Choice of Country by the Foreign Born for PhD and Postdoctoral Study: A Sixteen-Country Perspective

Paula Stephan, Chiara Franzoni, Giuseppe Scellato

NBER Working Paper No. 18809
Issued in February 2013
NBER Program(s):   ED   LS   PR

We analyze the decisions of foreign-born PhD and postdoctoral trainees to come to the United States vs. go to another country for training. Data are drawn from the GlobSci survey of scientists in sixteen countries working in four fields. We find that individuals come to the U.S. to train because of the prestige of its programs and/or career prospects. They are discouraged from training in the United States because of the perceived lifestyle. The availability of exchange programs elsewhere discourages coming for PhD study; the relative unattractiveness of fringe benefits discourages coming for postdoctoral study. Countries that have been nibbling at the U.S.-PhD and postdoc share are Australia, Germany, and Switzerland; France and Great Britain have gained appeal in attracting postdocs, but not in attracting PhD students. Canada has made gains in neither.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18809

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