Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 647–665 | Cite as

Do stepping-stone jobs exist? Early career paths in the medical profession

  • Gerard J. van den Berg
  • Anders Holm
  • Jan C. van Ours


In the Netherlands, students who want to become a medical specialist have to enrol in a training program which is in limited supply. During the search for a position as trainee (or “junior medical specialist”), they may accept a temporary job as a medical assistant. We use a micro data set to investigate whether such work experience increases the probability of becoming junior medical specialist. To deal with selectivity, we simultaneously model the transitions from unemployment to trainee, from unemployment to medical assistant, from medical assistant to trainee and from medical assistant to unemployment. We find that a job as medical assistant helps to become a medical specialist.

JEL classification: J64, C41, I21 
Key words: Job search, multivariate duration models, hazard rate, education, university, treatment effect 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerard J. van den Berg
    • 1
  • Anders Holm
    • 2
  • Jan C. van Ours
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Economics, Free University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, NL-1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Tinbergen Institute, CEPR, and IFAU-Uppsala (Fax: +31-20-4446020; e-mail:
  2. 2.Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Linnégade 22, DK-1361 Copenhagen K, Denmark (Fax: +45-323940; e-mail:
  3. 3.CentER for Economic Research, Tilburg University, P.O. Box 90153, NL-5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands, CEPR and IZA (Fax: +31-13-4663042; e-mail:

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