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College Choice And Earnings Among University Graduates In Sweden

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  • Eliasson, Kent

    ()
    (National Institute for Working Life)

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    Abstract

    This thesis consists of three papers that examine college choice and earnings among university graduates in Sweden. Paper [I] analyzes how geographical accessibility to higher education affects university enrollment decisions in Sweden. The empirical findings show that the probability of enrollment in university education increases with accessibility to university education. The results also indicate that accessibility adds to the likelihood of attending a university within the region of residence. Both these findings are robust with regard to different specifications of accessibility. The empirical results furthermore indicate that the enrollment decisions of individuals with a less privileged background are more sensitive to accessibility to university education than are the decisions of individuals from a more favorable background. Paper [II] examines the effect on earnings of graduating from five different college groups. The paper relies on selection on observables and linear regression to identify the earnings effect of college choice. Contrary to the majority of previous Swedish studies, we do not find any systematic differences in estimated earnings between college graduates from the different college groups. This finding does not only hold when considering all college graduates, but also when focusing on men and women separately as well as when considering college graduates in two specific fields of education. The results suggest that an estimator of the earnings effects of college choice that does not properly adjust for ability is likely to be substantially biased. Paper [III] estimates the causal effect on earnings of graduating from old universities rather than new universities/university colleges. The study compares estimates from several different matching methods and linear regression. We cannot find any significant differences in earnings between graduates from the two groups of colleges. This holds for male and female sub-samples covering all majors, as well as male and female sub-samples covering two broad fields of education. The results are robust with regard to different methods of propensity score matching and regression adjustment. Furthermore, the results indicate little sensitivity with regard to the empirical support in the data and alternative specifications of the propensity scores.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Umeå University, Department of Economics in its series Umeå Economic Studies with number 693.

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    Length: 124 pages
    Date of creation: 11 Sep 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0693

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Department of Economics, Umeå University, S-901 87 Umeå, Sweden
    Phone: 090 - 786 61 42
    Fax: 090 - 77 23 02
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    Web page: http://www.econ.umu.se/
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    Keywords: College choice; earnings; propensity score matching;

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    References

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    1. Lindahl, Lena & Regnér, Håkan, 2003. "College choice and subsequent earnings. Results using Swedish sibling data," Working Paper Series 4/2003, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    2. Jeffrey Smith, 2000. "A Critical Survey of Empirical Methods for Evaluating Active Labor Market Policies," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 136(III), pages 247-268, September.
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    7. Edwin Leuven & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing," Statistical Software Components S432001, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 12 Feb 2014.
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    16. James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2006. "Bias-Corrected Estimates of GED Returns," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 661-700, July.
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    18. Kermit Daniel & Dan Black & Jeffery Smith, 1996. "College Quality and the Wages of Young Men," HEW 9604001, EconWPA.
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    22. Lundborg, Per, 2005. "Individual Wage Setting, Efficiency Wages and Productivity in Sweden," Working Paper Series 205, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
    23. Guido W. Imbens, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review," NBER Technical Working Papers 0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    25. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    29. Behrman, Jere R & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Taubman, Paul, 1996. "College Choice and Wages: Estimates Using Data on Female Twins," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 672-85, November.
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