"Since 1993, the 'replacement rate'--the ratio of the annual number of new PhDs awarded to the number of PhDs retiring--has steadily declined in all social science disciplines. Figure 1 shows the replacement rate between 1993 and 2003 for these disciplines. ... By 2003 (the last year for which data were available), there were two-thirds of a new psychology PhD for every PhD psychology retiree. In contrast, there was less than one third (.29) of a new PhD for every one PhD retiree in sociology."Among other things, this observation would seem to explain:
1. My sense that, in certain institutional respects, the experience of my broad cohort in sociology has resembled that of a game of musical chairs, only except instead removing chairs, removing people.
2. The increasing difficulties editors report in finding people to peer review articles.