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Up or out: Research incentives and career prospects of postdocs in Germany

Bernd Fitzenberger and Ute Leuschner

No 12-020, ZEW Discussion Papers from ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

Abstract: Academic careers in Germany have been under debate for a while. We conduct a survey among postdocs in Germany, to analyze the perceptions and attitudes of postdocs regarding their research incentives, their working conditions, and their career prospects. We conceptualize the career prospects of a postdoc in a life-cycle perspective of transitions from academic training to academic or non-academic jobs. Only about half of the postdocs sees strong incentives for academic research, but there is quite a strong confidence to succeed in an academic career. Furthermore, postdocs who attended a PhD program show better career prospects and higher research incentives compared to others. Academic career prospects and motivation are strongest for assistant professors. Apart from this small group, however, postdocs report only a small impact of the university reforms of the last decade. Female postdocs show significantly higher research incentives but otherwise we find little gender differences. Finally, good prospects in non-academic jobs are not associated with a reduction in the motivation for research.

Keywords: Postdocs; Academic Career Prospects; Research Incentives; University Reforms (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A11 A29 I21 I23 J24 J49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-hrm, nep-lab and nep-sog
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Related works:
Journal Article: Up or Out: Research Incentives and Career Prospects of Postdocs in Germany (2014) Downloads
Working Paper: Up or Out: Research Incentives and Career Prospects of Postdocs in Germany (2012) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:zbw:zewdip:12020

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