Moving Out of Academic Research: Why Do Scientists Stop Doing Research?

Aldo Geuna, Sotaro Shibayama

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


This study examines the determinants of exit from academic research that occurs when academic researchers move into positions in academe that concentrate on nonresearch activities such as teaching or administration or when researchers leave academia and move into industry. Drawing on career data for 14,000 Japanese PhD graduates in hard sciences (all scientific fields except social sciences and humanities), we develop a set of econometric models to test the determinants of exit from a career in academic research. We find that academics' scientific productivity and academic network are negatively correlated with abandoning a university research career and that female academics, and researchers in less-prestigious universities, tend to exit academic research more easily. Individual and institutional network effects play a role mainly for senior researchers. The results indicate also that the determinants of exit are contingent on scientific field and career stage.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Mobility of Research Scientists
Subtitle of host publicationThe Economics of Who Goes Where and Why
EditorsAldo Geuna
PublisherAcademic Press
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-12-8016817
ISBN (Print)978-0-12-801396-0
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Work Sciences

Free keywords

  • academic career
  • academic labor market
  • exit
  • researcher mobility


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