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Title:The New Entrants Component of Scientific and Technical Labor Supply
Author(s):Fiorito, Jack Thomas
Department / Program:Labor and Industrial Relations
Discipline:Labor and Industrial Relations
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Economics, Commerce-Business
Abstract:The supply of scientific and technical (S & T) labor can be viewed as consisting of five major components, including the stock at a point in time and four major flows. The flows are migration, attrition, occupational mobility, and new entrants. This study examines the determinants of the quantity and quality of this last flow component.
Three major processes govern this flow. They are curriculum choice, post-degree behavior, and occupational entry, or the transition from school to work.
Curriculum choice has received considerable attention in prior research by psychologists and economists, but as yet the empirical literature is diverse as to the relative importance of market and nonmarket influences and their roles as determinants of curriculum choice. The present study attempts to reconcile this diverse literature and integrate the psychological and economic perspectives within a common framework, explicitly recognizing the importance of abilities, interests, and market conditions as determinants of U.S. degree conferral patterns.
Post-degree behavior here refers to alternatives facing the recent graduate, including further schooling, labor force entry, nonentry, or combinations of these activities. The parameters affecting this choice are identified.
Given that one chooses to enter the labor force the question of occupational entry still remains. That is, the present study does not assume curriculum and occupational choice are synonomous. The lag between curriculum choice and degree attainment for S & T disciplines generally ensures a mismatch between new supply and employer requirements. The process of reconciliation or transition from school to work is modeled as a function of market conditions and the technical compatibility of possible major-occupation combinations as measured by the similarity of majors' coursework.
Empirically testable models are developed for the examination of curriculum choice and the school-to-work transition process. Throughout the study a 21-order classification scheme, roughly comparable to 3-digit Census occupations, is used for curricula and occupations. Regression methodologies are adapted to deal with field interdependencies, the multinomial nature of the dependent variables and other estimation problems.
The results generally support the view of these processes, and thus the flow of new S & T entrants, as market-determined phenomena. However, the role of nonmarket factors is also shown to be an important consideration, although the data on such factors are very limited. Thus models of these processes which neglect nonmarket influences may be adequate to indicate general trends but will remain incomplete.
The results of this study should be of interest to those interested in S & T and other high-level human resources, labor market analysts, and career guidance specialists or others concerned with the occupational implications of curriculum choice.
Issue Date:1980
Description:132 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8108501
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-14
Date Deposited:1980

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