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Are Student Exchange Programs Worth It?

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Author Info

  • Messer, Dolores

    ()
    (University of Bern)

  • Wolter, Stefan C.

    ()
    (University of Bern)

Abstract

The number of university students participating in exchange programs has risen sharply over the last decade, but a survey of Swiss university graduates (class of 1999 and 2001) shows that participation in student exchange programs significantly prolongs the period of time spent studying at university. Given this fact, the advantages of exchange programs for students need to be identified. Analyses show that student exchange programs are associated with higher starting salaries and an increased likelihood of opting for postgraduate study – but only if all exchange semesters are factored in, not just those accredited by the university of matriculation. Using instrumental variable estimations (IV), however, shows that the cited outcomes are not causally related to participation in exchange programs. Therefore the big question is: Where's the benefit that justifies having to study for almost a whole year longer?

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1656.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Higher Education, 2007, 54 (5), 647-663
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1656

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Related research

Keywords: graduate survey; exchange semester; Switzerland; ERASMUS; instrumental variables;

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References

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  1. Groot, Wim & Maassen van den Brink, Henriette, 2000. "Overeducation in the labor market: a meta-analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 149-158, April.
  2. Joshua Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," NBER Working Papers 8456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2002. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 323-334, March.
  4. repec:fth:prinin:455 is not listed on IDEAS
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Cited by:
  1. Dolores Messer & Stefan Wolter, 2010. "Time-to-degree and the business cycle," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 111-123.

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