On The Possibility that American College Students Are Not Human Capitalists
AbstractWe assess the likelihood that earnings premiums influence college students' behavior as human capital theory suggests. We highlight several key observable patterns of earnings by age, sex, and for numerous college majors in recent decades, and propose a model of heterogeneous human capital to explain the data. Next, we formulate and test the hypothesis that greater expected average annual earnings by college major will induce greater proportions of college students to select higher-paying majors. The evidence implies that - at least for the observed range of earnings premiums - monetary incentives are insufficient to fully explain behavior.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Elon University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2009-01.
Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-06-10 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2009-06-10 (Education)
- NEP-HPE-2009-06-10 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-HRM-2009-06-10 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2009-06-10 (Labour Economics)
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