Economic News 1991

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1991 January
Roger A. Rosenblatt, M.D. & Denise M. Lishner, M.S.W. _Western Journal of Medicine_
Surplus or shortage? Unraveling the physician supply conundrum.
"Despite the lack of consensus on the adequacy of America's physician supply, the basic statistics are not in doubt...   The number of medical schools increased from 87 to 126 between 1963 and 1980, and the number of medical graduates more than doubled during that same period.   As a consequence, the relative supply of physicians has risen from 150 per 100K in 1970 to 225 per 100K in 1986...   A typical HMO has a staffing level of about 120 physicians per 100K population, only about half of that in the 'first compartment' or fee-for-service sector and much lower than the physician-population ratio projected for the 21st century...   The number of medical students in the United States doubled in the past 25 years, from 7,081 in 1960 to 16,318 in 1985.   Although the number of applicants to medical school rose commensurately until 1973, the applicant pool actually declined until leveling out in 1990... in 1983, well over 100K foreign graduates were practicing in this country, accounting for more than a fifth of the total physician supply...   [citing] Swanson AG: US medical school applicants and matriculants, 1960-1985 and beyond, In Eli Ginzberg (Ed.): _From Physician Shortage to Patient Shortage: The Uncertain Future of Medical Practice_.   Boulder, CO, Westview Press, 1986.   Mulhausen R, McGee J: Physician need: An alternative projection from a study of large, prepaid group practices. Conn Med 1989; 5:293-298.   Beeson PB: Making medicine a more attractive profession. J Med Educ 1987; 62:116-125.   Sandrick K: US MD glut limits demand for FMG physicians. Hospitals 1988 Feb 5, pp 67-69."

Workers at Risk: Increased Numbers in Contingent Employment (i.e. Bodies Shopped)
"In the past, nearly all employed Americans worked full-time for a single employer, but that pattern is changing.   Many workers currently are employed in part-time, temporary, contract, and other types of flexible work arrangements... self-employed, leased employees, and workers in the business services sector...   Non-traditional work arrangements offer immediate benefits, such as increased flexibility for both employers and employees and labor cost savings for employers."

1991 March
Chris Tilly _Monthly Labor Review_
Reasons for the continuing growth of part-time employment
"The rise in the share of these workers appears to be driven by employer demand for scheduling flexibility and a work force that commands lower compensation.   This article examines the long-term growth of part-time employment, including the effect of growing demand for such workers from employers."

_Washington Post_ pg1
Scientist Short-Fall a Myth: NSF Study Seriously Flawed, Panel is Told

Lawrence W. Reed & Harry Hutchison _Mackinac Center for Public Policy_
Educational Choice for Michigan
John E. Chubb & Terry M. Moe: Trends in education and learning

"Though we all crave security and a sense of an assured tomorrow there really is no sure way to achieve that." --- R. Berel Wein


Jeffrey Mervis _Scientist_
Congress Presses Probe Into NSF Prediction Of Scientist Shortage
"[Peter House] based his analysis on the demographic fact that the size of the U.S. college-age population had peaked in the early 1980s and was expected to drop sharply through most of the 1990s.   He assumed that the percentage of students graduating with science and engineering-related degrees -- historically between 4% and 5% -- would remain steady into the next century.   And he made the number of science graduates in the period 1984-1986, a record-high level, a surrogate for future demand.   Based on those assumptions, he calculated that the U.S. would produce 675K fewer B.S. graduates trained as scientists and engineers than it 'needed' by 2006...   But that number, first put forth in a 1987 internal NSF document, is now under attack.   Statisticians have questioned the assumptions that under-pin the analysis, as well as the choice of factors used (The Scientist, 1991 April 29, page 1; and 1991 May 13, page 1).   Others are worried that [Peter House's] conclusion goes beyond the existing data.   And many labor economists don't believe that the supply of scientists can be determined independent of the market demand for their services; they question the value of any prediction that tries to separate the two."

Murray N. Rothbard _Ludwig von Mises Institute_
The Struggle Over Egalitarianism Continues: Freedom, Inequality, Primitivism, and the Division of Labor

Texas Public Educational Grant Funding to Community Colleges
"To offset the cost of tuition to the students least able to pay, institutions are required to set aside a percentage of the tuition revenue for the Texas Public Educational Grants (TPEG) and emergency loans.   The present set aside rate is 25 cents out of each resident student's hourly tuition charge for academic courses and 6% of the hourly tuition charge for vocation-technical courses...   The federal government is the major provider of financial aid, awarding about 75% of all aid dollars or about $20G nationwide in the 1988-1989 school year...   The colleges receive funding from 6 sources.   The 3 major sources -- state appropriations (45%), local taxes (20%), and tuition and fees (15%) -- make up approximately 80% of the revenue.   The remaining 20% is from federal funds (8%), auxiliary income (6%), and miscellaneous revenue (6%)."

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