Candidate of Sciences degree is awarded in some post-soviet countries for completing a 3-5 year research program, which has similar scientific requirements as a PhD. Here is a wikipedia article about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candidate_of_Sciences
Does it make sense to go after a PhD in a European or American university after obtaining a Candidate of Sciences degree? Would a university consider enrolling a Candidate of Sciences in a PhD program? Would it be possible to apply for scholarship for it? Would an age make any difference?
Also, if I am switching fields and do not intend to work in the field, in which I did my Candidate of Sciences thesis, would it make sense to get a PhD in the field I plan to work in?
I spent some time trying to find an opportunity to get a PhD on top of my Candidate of Sciences degree, but had no success and gave up. I have plenty of job opportunities as a Candidate of Sciences, but I wonder if I will have more and better jobs available to me if I get a PhD from a western university as well.
I am leaning towards a conclusion that having good publications is much more important than getting a shinier degree. If this is the case, then doing a PhD would only make sense if it resulted in some good research results. But then isn't it better to look for post-doc positions that are solely focused on producing good research results and publications?
Edit: Some specific information about my situation.
My Candidate of Sciences thesis and publications are in agricultural economics. The field in which I would like to apply for either PhD or post-doc is behavioral economics. Behavioral economics has a fair share of psychology and decision sciences in it and its research methods differ so I still have quite a bit of books to read.
I do not have publications in highly ranked journals. I have two publications in agricultural economics: one in AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics and the other one in Studies in Agricultural Economics. I also have a forthcoming publication in behavioral economics in The International Journal of Economic Behavior. These journals are not high ranked at all, but they do appear in some rankings.
I am the only author in all of my publications in ranked journals.
My English is good.
I'm about to hit 30.