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Concept: Labour economics


There is increasing evidence that science & engineering PhD students lose interest in an academic career over the course of graduate training. It is not clear, however, whether this decline reflects students being discouraged from pursuing an academic career by the challenges of obtaining a faculty job or whether it reflects more fundamental changes in students' career goals for reasons other than the academic labor market. We examine this question using a longitudinal survey that follows a cohort of PhD students from 39 U.S. research universities over the course of graduate training to document changes in career preferences and to explore potential drivers of such changes. We report two main results. First, although the vast majority of students start the PhD interested in an academic research career, over time 55% of all students remain interested while 25% lose interest entirely. In addition, 15% of all students were never interested in an academic career during their PhD program, while 5% become more interested. Thus, the declining interest in an academic career is not a general phenomenon across all PhD students, but rather reflects a divergence between those students who remain highly interested in an academic career and other students who are no longer interested in one. Second, we show that the decline we observe is not driven by expectations of academic job availability, nor by related factors such as postdoctoral requirements or the availability of research funding. Instead, the decline appears partly due to the misalignment between students' changing preferences for specific job attributes on the one hand, and the nature of the academic research career itself on the other. Changes in students' perceptions of their own research ability also play a role, while publications do not. We discuss implications for scientific labor markets, PhD career development programs, and science policy.

Concepts: Scientific method, Research methods, Science, Research, University, Employment, Organizational studies and human resource management, Labour economics


There is a controversy about the impact of economic crisis on suicide rates in Greece. We analysed recent suicide data to identify who has been most affected and the relationships to economic and labour market indicators.

Concepts: Ecology, Crisis, Suicide, Greece, Labour economics, Economy of Greece


This article sets out to investigate how flexitime and teleworking can help women maintain their careers after childbirth. Despite the increased number of women in the labour market in the UK, many significantly reduce their working hours or leave the labour market altogether after childbirth. Based on border and boundary management theories, we expect flexitime and teleworking can help mothers stay employed and maintain their working hours. We explore the UK case, where the right to request flexible working has been expanded quickly as a way to address work-life balance issues. The dataset used is Understanding Society (2009-2014), a large household panel survey with data on flexible work. We find some suggestive evidence that flexible working can help women stay in employment after the birth of their first child. More evidence is found that mothers using flexitime and with access to teleworking are less likely to reduce their working hours after childbirth. This contributes to our understanding of flexible working not only as a tool for work-life balance, but also as a tool to enhance and maintain individuals' work capacities in periods of increased family demands. This has major implications for supporting mothers' careers and enhancing gender equality in the labour market.

Concepts: Childbirth, United Kingdom, Employment, Woman, Working time, Labour economics, Labour relations, Labour market flexibility


A period of economic recession may be particularly difficult for people with mental health problems as they may be at higher risk of losing their jobs, and more competitive labour markets can also make it more difficult to find a new job. This study assesses unemployment rates among individuals with mental health problems before and during the current economic recession.

Concepts: Mental disorder, Macroeconomics, Unemployment, Late-2000s recession, Recession, Inflation, Labour economics, Business cycle


Mobile money, a service that allows monetary value to be stored on a mobile phone and sent to other users via text messages, has been adopted by the vast majority of Kenyan households. We estimate that access to the Kenyan mobile money system M-PESA increased per capita consumption levels and lifted 194,000 households, or 2% of Kenyan households, out of poverty. The impacts, which are more pronounced for female-headed households, appear to be driven by changes in financial behavior-in particular, increased financial resilience and saving-and labor market outcomes, such as occupational choice, especially for women, who moved out of agriculture and into business. Mobile money has therefore increased the efficiency of the allocation of consumption over time while allowing a more efficient allocation of labor, resulting in a meaningful reduction of poverty in Kenya.

Concepts: Estimator, Economics, Employment, Mobile phone, Text messaging, Macroeconomics, Labour economics, Jacob Mincer


To examine the long-term effects of smoking on labour market outcomes using twin data matched to register-based individual information on earnings.

Concepts: Labour economics


This review study explores the “brain drain” currently evident amongst physicians in Greece, which is closely linked to the country’s severe financial woes. In particular, it shows that the Greek healthcare labour market offers few opportunities and thus physicians are forsaking their homeland to seek jobs abroad. The main causes generating or greatly inflating the brain drain of Greek physicians are unemployment, job insecurity, income reduction, over-taxation, together with limited budgets for research institutes. It is argued that, to stop the evolving mass exodus of skilled medical staff, policy-makers should implement fiscal and human-centred approaches, thoroughly safeguarding both the right of skilled Greek physicians to work in their homeland with motivation and dignity, but also of Greek citizens to continue receiving high-quality healthcare by skilled physicians at times when this is mostly needed.

Concepts: Medicine, Brain, Human migration, Employment, Policy, Implementation, Labour economics, Beveridge curve


Abstract Purpose: There is a strong connection between disability and decreased participation rates in the Australian labour market. Australian government policy recognises vocational rehabilitation as a key strategy to increase employment rates of people with disabilities. Methods: This paper examines current Australian disability employment policies and practices. It also reviews vocational rehabilitation competency research to identify knowledge and skill domains central to quality service provision, and explores the delivery of tertiary level vocational rehabilitation education. Results: Policy changes in Australia over the last decade have been aimed at addressing the unsustainable increase in disability benefits. In this context vocational rehabilitation services continue to be viewed as crucial in assisting people with disabilities to maintain employment and reduce disengagement. Competencies research has consistently identified vocational counselling, personal counselling, professional practice and case management as central to quality vocational rehabilitation service provision. Two competencies identified in recent research, workplace disability case management and workplace interventions and program management, reflect the centrality of vocational rehabilitation to disability management. Conclusions: Changes in the policy environment to reduce the number of disability pension recipients will inevitably lead to an increased demand for trained vocational rehabilitation personnel. Given the development of strong accreditation standards for vocational rehabilitation education and practice that underpin the provision of tertiary level rehabilitation counselling training programs, professionally qualified rehabilitation counsellors are ideally placed to address the complex employment needs of people with a disability. Implications for Rehabilitation It is important to understand changes that may occur in policy environments in terms of their impact on vocational rehabilitation service delivery for people with disabilities. Variable levels of training in the vocational rehabilitation sector result in people with complex needs not consistently receiving the services they need to access and maintain employment. Practitioners need to focus increasingly on individualized service delivery where the client has significant control over decisions about their rehabilitation program.

Concepts: Employment, Australia, Disability, Tertiary education, Disability pension, Labour economics


Pet dogs, therapy dogs, and service dogs can be seen in workplaces with increasing frequency. Although dogs may provide many benefits to employees and employers, their presence may introduce additional hazards and concerns to the work environment. Therefore, decisions to accept dogs in the workplace may include many considerations including the health, safety, and well-being of employees, legal and cultural sensitivities, and animal welfare. The present paper serves to introduce the issue of dogs in the workplace and outline the potential benefits and challenges to their presence. The legal accommodations afforded to certain types of dogs in workplace settings are discussed, and the research findings pertaining to the potential benefits of dogs on human health and well-being are summarized. The paper concludes with considerations for human resource management personnel in the areas of diversity, employee relations, ethics and corporate responsibility, organizational and employee development, safety and security, and legal considerations, as well as suggested topics for future research.

Concepts: Health, Employment, Recruitment, Labour economics, Job interview, Corporate social responsibility, Human resources, Human resource management


Compared to girls, boys are more at risk of early school leaving. However, it is unclear whether gender differences are driven by push factors, which alienate students from the school system, or pull factors, which attract them out of it. This paper examines gender differences in early school leaving, assessing the role of previous scholastic performance, parental education, and differential employment opportunities. By analyzing two nationally representative datasets, we focus on Italy, a country with high rates of early school leaving and pronounced gender inequalities in the labor market. Our results show that gender effects are partially mediated by scholastic performance, a crucial push factor, and are stronger among low-achieving students, pointing to a higher resilience of girls to academic failure; parental education is highly protective, especially for boys. Yet, boys' higher propensity to drop out is also, at least partly, explained by better employment opportunities in the formal and informal labor market.

Concepts: Education, Gender role, High school, Employment, Woman, Labour economics