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Physician Income Expectations and Specialty Choice

Sean Nicholson and Nicholas Souleles

No 8536, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: In spite of the important role of income expectations in economics, economists know little about how people actually form these expectations. We use a unique data set that contains the explicit income expectations of medical students over a 25-year time period to examine how students form income expectations. We examine whether students condition their expectations on their own ability, contemporaneous physician income, and the ex post income of physicians in their medical school cohort. We then test whether a model that uses the students' explicit income expectations to predict their specialty choices has a better fit than a model that assumes income expectations are formed statically, and a model that bases income expectations on ex post income.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea and nep-mic
Date: 2001-10
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