Understanding Country Differences

Predicting the Effect of Financial and Labor Market Conditions on International Doctoral Recipients’ First Labor Market Destination





economic opportunities, international doctoral recipients, labor market outcome


This study used the Survey of Earned Doctorates, World Bank economic data of the doctoral students’ home country, and hierarchical linear modeling analysis to examine the effects of financial factors and home-country macroeconomic indicators on international doctoral students’ labor market destinations. We found that wealth disparities and economic opportunities in the home country affect international doctoral student outcomes. Higher gross national income per capita was associated with a decreased likelihood of remaining in the United States, while higher unemployment rates in the home country significantly increased the likelihood of remaining in the United States. The study reveals a need to develop career services support for international doctoral students that are tailored to their needs as well as the need to internationalize the curriculum to support those who will eventually return to their home country.

Author Biographies

Osasohan Agbonlahor, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, USA

OSASOHAN AGBONLAHOR, PhD, is a postdoctoral research associate in the department of Leadership, Research, and Foundations at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs. Her intellectual interests are in the fields of the economics of education, international education, and higher education policy. Her research focuses on labor market outcomes of higher education, the career trajectories of international doctoral recipients and the participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.

Frim Ampaw, Central Michigan University, USA

FRIM AMPAW, EdD, is Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Leadership at Central Michigan University. Her research focuses on labor market implications of higher education, persistence of women and underrepresented minorities in STEM fields and the transition and persistence of students through the various levels of higher education


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How to Cite

Agbonlahor, O., & Ampaw, F. (2021). Understanding Country Differences : Predicting the Effect of Financial and Labor Market Conditions on International Doctoral Recipients’ First Labor Market Destination. Journal of International Students, 11(2), 459–483. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v11i2.1420



Research Articles