Is There a Shortage of Scientists and Engineers? How Would We Know?
- Year: 2003
RAND issue papers explore topics of interest to the policymaking community. Although issue papers are formally reviewed, authors have substantial latitude to express provocative views without doing full justice to other perspectives. The views and conclusions expressed in issue papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of RAND or its research sponsors. © Copyright RAND 2003. Issue Paper
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Over the past twenty-five years the nation has struggled with a series of physician workforce issues: determining the appropriate number of physicians needed and the appropriate number to produce; the role of international medical school graduates; the mix of primary care and non–primary care physicians; efforts to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine and the supply of physicians in rural areas; and the impact of the growing number of female physicians. This paper docum...
Using Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Young Men, the author of this paper examines the relationship between predicted future earnings for five broad fields of study and college students' choice of major. Conditional logit models of major choice that incorporate alternative predicted earnings variables are specified and estimated. The results indicate that, holding family background characteristics constant, individuals are likely to choose majors offering greater streams of future ...
This paper suggests that innovation policy in the United States has erred by subsidizing the private sector demand for scientists and engineers without asking whether the educational system provides that supply response necessary for these subsidies to work. It suggests that the existing institutional arrangements in higher education limit this supply response. To illustrate the path not taken, the paper considers specific programs that could increase the numbers of scientists and engineers avai...
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This paper specifles and estimates a dynamic model of task choices with symmetric learning about one of task-speciflc abilities and dependence on past performance. The model is applied to the career choice problem of doctoral scientists and engineers to explain the following puzzle: Early in their career, the majority of doctorates are employed in R&D and earn the lowest salaries relative to other tasks. However, as careers progress, they leave R&D for more applied tasks or completely change car...
Barnow, Trutko, and Piatak focus on whether persistent occupation-specific labor shortages might lead to inefficiencies in the U.S. economy. They describe why shortages arise, the difficulty in ascertaining that a shortage is present, and how to assess strategies to alleviate the shortage.
Research on student attitudes and aspirations towards science has been an increasing focus of concern in the past decade. Much of this is driven by a growing concern about students’ lack of interest in the further study of science in advanced societies. Because attitude to science is a multifaceted construct, the chapter first reviews research into attitudes in order to develop principles for its meaningful measurement. We then explore the main features of student responses to science and examin...
Is the United States in danger of losing its competitive edge in science and technology (S&T)? In response to this concern, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness asked RAND to convene a meeting to review evidence presented by experts from academia, government, and the private sector. The resulting papers provide a partial survey of the facts, challenges, and questions posed by the potential erosion of U.S. S&T capability.
The quest for engineers during the past boom and predictions of future shortages have focused attention on the low enrolment figures in science and technology (S&T) subjects. Normally, it is assumed that young people shy away from ‘tough majors’ or make irrational choices, based on an absence of information. While not denying the fundamental necessity that a higher proportion of the population should have a background in S&T, this paper pursues a different approach. Only by identifying potential...