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Mobility of phd graduates

In Italy, over the last decade, there has been a constant growth in the provision of PhD courses, which has led to an equally constant increase in the numbers of young people who have completed their studies in this segment, the highest level in the Italian education system. Indeed, from the approximately 4,000 people who obtained a PhD degree in 2000, the number had risen to over 12,000 in 2008. In this context, an analysis of the geographical mobility of PhD graduates constitutes an important information base for studying migrations of highly qualified individuals. The so-called brain drain and international mobility of high-skilled workers constitute issues of significant interest in an increasingly competitive and dynamic knowledge society.

The survey conducted by ISTAT between the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010 of PhD graduates who obtained their degrees in 2004 and 2006 makes it possible to read various moments in these individuals’ educational and professional careers. The target universe consists of 18,568 PhD graduates (8,443 from 2004 and 10,125 from 2006), within which it is interesting to compare place of residence before university enrolment and domicile (place of usual dwelling) at the time of interview, that is, approximately five years after obtaining the PhD for the 2004 cohort and approximately three years for the 2006 cohort.