Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Good Moves: Gender and Race Differences in Academic Mobility in the Sciences and Social Sciences

Thursday, November 12, 2015 : 10:15 AM
Grenada (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Shulamit Khan, Boston University and Donna Ginther, University of Kansas
Job mobility differences between men and women, and between under-represented minorities (URMs) and others, have been studied by many people. However, existing analyses tend to focus on the labor market as a whole, and not on the highly-educated scientific workforce.  Also, much of the literature cannot differentiate between voluntary and involuntary mobility, and those that do base this classification on self-reports of reasons for job change. With self-reports, often involuntary mobility (for cause) will be self-categorized as voluntary mobility.

This paper studies gender and race differences in voluntary job mobility of highly educated scientists by studying mobility of tenured faculty, for whom moves by definition are voluntary. We use data from the 1993 through 2013 waves of NSF’s longitudinal Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR), which allows us to follow PhD natural and social scientists as their academic careers develop and as they do – or do not – change institutions.  Although the SDR does include self-reported measures of publication and patenting output, these data are infrequently collected, making it impossible to identify individuals with recent publications who may be more attractive to other institutions. This spring, the NSF will produce new preliminary datasets linking individuals’ publications and patents to the 1993-2010 waves of the SDR.

Using these new data, our research will focus on whether men or women, URM’s or others are more likely to move to a better, similar or worse job. We use two different measures of a “better job”: a higher salary or -- for those who stay within academia -- a higher institutional prestige ranking. We begin the analysis with several hypotheses, some mutually exclusive: 1) that both men and women who are married and have children will have less good mobility than single men and women respectively because they want to provide stability for their families, and that this is particularly true for those with children in high school; 2) that women in general—even single ones—will have less good mobility than comparable men because of their lower risk-taking or higher loyalty; (3) that married women will have more bad mobility than married men because they are more likely to be the trailing spouse; (4) that URMs are likely to have fewer job offers than whites because of implicit discrimination and as a result have less good mobility; (5) that for both women and URMs, those in fields with lower representation of women and URMs respectively may be fought over for diversity reasons and therefore have more good mobility;  (6) that for men and for URMs of both genders, good mobility may take the form of moving to more highly paid jobs rather than jobs with higher status.