What Explains Science’s Expanded Reliance On Postdoctoral Researchers?

Date
2022-09-21
Authors
Rosenbloom, Joshua
Major Professor
Advisor
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Copyright 2022, The Author
Altmetrics
Authors
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Economics
Organizational Unit
Journal Issue
Series
Department
Economics
Abstract
Between 1979 and 2019 the number of postdoctoral researchers in the U.S. increased approximately four-fold, substantially outpacing growth in the numbers of graduate students and faculty at U.S. universities. This paper argues that the increased reliance on postdocs within the scientific workforce reflects the uncoordinated nature of science funding. While support for faculty and growth in their numbers largely reflects changes in undergraduate enrollments, the number of postdocs responds primarily to changes in the level of federal R&D funding. This argument is developed based on a review of aggregate data and past studies in combination with new evidence drawn from newly available data by discipline at the university level, which allows analysis of differences in reliance on post-docs across different fields of scholarship as well as the relationship of postdocs, faculty, funding and scientific productivity across institutions.
Comments
JEL Classification: O38, H52. Length: 44 pages. Original Release Date: September 21, 2022.
Description
Keywords
Citation
DOI
Source
Collections