Published June 5, 2023 | Version 1
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Policy Brief, Issue 13/How to monitor and analyse the labour-market placement of trained PhDs using linked datasets

  • 1. NIFU Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation


The numbers of doctorates awarded in OECD countries have increased dramatically since the mid-1990s. PhD production is currently outpacing the rate needed simply to replace research and teaching competencies in the academic sector. In consequence, a substantial and apparently growing share of PhDs is percolating into other sectors of the economy. This trend is not new. “The perennial shortage-surplus debate” has long roots[3]. Looking back, it stands out as a characterizing feature of the formative knowledge economy. Looking ahead, its importance is likely to continue to grow, with manifold implications both for education and innovation policy.

A product of the RISIS2 project, the Doctoral Degree and Career Dataset (DDC) is designed to inform ongoing policymaking on these issues in Europe. Three aims are central:

  • to take stock of PhD production on a year-to-year basis for a wide range of European countries
  • to identify the proportion that flows into other, non-academic sectors,
  • and to build the lens on appropriate scientific framework that appreciates the long-term returns to society of its investment into PhD production in terms of new economic activities and innovation in the economy.

Thus, the DDC aims at complementing ongoing activities at the national and international levels (e.g., CDH) and at providing important added functionality.


RISIS2_Policy Brief 13_NIFU-DDC.pdf

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RISIS 2 – European Research Infrastructure for Science, technology and Innovation policy Studies 2 824091
European Commission