nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2013‒07‒05
three papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  2. Agricultural and Resource Economics Ph.D. Students: Who are They and What Do They Want? By Penn, Jerrod; Sandberg, H. Mikael
  3. A Major in Science? Initial Beliefs and Final Outcomes for College Major and Dropout By Ralph Stinebrickner; Todd R. Stinebrickner

  1. By: Ho Fai Chan; Benno Torgler
    Abstract: Nobel laureates have achieved the highest recognition in academia,reaching the boundaries of human knowledge and understanding. Owing to past research, we have a good understanding of the career patterns behind their performance. Yet, we have only limited understanding of the factors driving their recognition with respect to major institutionalized scientific honours. We therefore look at the award life cycle achievements of the 1901 to 2000 Nobel laureates in physics, chemistry and physiology or medicine. The results show that Nobelists with a theoretical orientation are achieving more awards than laureates with an empirical orientation. Moreover, it seems their educational background shapes their future recognition. Researchers educated in Great Britain and the US tend to generate more awards than other Nobelists although there are career pattern differences. Among those, laureates educated at Cambridge or Harvard are more successful in Chemistry, those from Columbia and Cambridge excel in Physics, while Columbia educated laureates dominate in Physiology or Medicine.
    Keywords: Nobel Prize, Nobel Laureates, Awards, Recognition, Educational Background, Theory, Empirics, Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine
    JEL: M52 J33 Z13
    Date: 2013–06–24
  2. By: Penn, Jerrod; Sandberg, H. Mikael
    Abstract: In the fall of 2012, a survey was distributed among current students in agricultural and resource economics or affiliated graduate programs at 30 major U.S. universities. The purpose of this survey was to elicit the thoughts and opinions of the graduate student population with regards to their background, view of their programs, future career goals, and what advice they would give to potential applicants considering a graduate degree in the field. This paper provides a summary of the findings of this survey. The results suggest that current Ph.D. students are well-aware of the nature of graduate schools; they have clear goals about post-graduation careers. There seems to be a structural mismatch between the field of interest and the current hiring trends in the profession; and students feel strongly about the importance of quantitative preparation prior to enrollment. Furthermore, the findings indicate that students are pragmatic about applying for, and ultimately choosing, graduate schools.
    Keywords: Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession,
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Ralph Stinebrickner; Todd R. Stinebrickner
    Abstract: Taking advantage of unique longitudinal data, we provide the first characterization of what college students believe at the time of entrance about their final major, relate these beliefs to actual major outcomes, and, provide an understanding of why students hold the initial beliefs about majors that they do. The data collection and analysis are based directly on a conceptual model in which a student’s final major is best viewed as the end result of a learning process. We find that students enter school quite optimistic/interested about obtaining a science degree, but that relatively few students end up graduating with a science degree. The substantial overoptimism about completing a degree in science can be attributed largely to students beginning school with misperceptions about their ability to perform well academically in science.
    JEL: I21 I23 J0
    Date: 2013–06

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