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Skill Transferability, Regret and Mobility

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  • Borghans, Lex

    ()
    (Maastricht University)

  • Golsteyn, Bart H.H.

    ()
    (Maastricht University)

Abstract

After graduation many students start working in sectors not related to their field of study or participate in training targeted at work in other sectors. In this paper, we look at mobility immediately after graduation from the perspective that educational choices have been made when these pupils had little experience of the actual working life in these professions. We develop a model where students accumulate partially transferable human capital but also learn about their professional preferences at the university and during the first years in the labor market. As a consequence of this newly acquired insight, these young workers might realize that working in another occupational field would better fit their preferences, although they are better equipped to work in their own field. The empirical analysis reveals that if wages are 1% lower due to lower skill transferability, the probability that a graduate who regrets his choice actually switches decreases by 2.2 percentage points, while those who switch on average take 0.3 months additional education.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2021.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Applied Economics, 2007, 39 (13), 1663-1678
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2021

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Keywords: skill transfer; training; regret; mobility;

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References

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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. "Bart, Don't Make Fun of Grad. Students, They Just Made a Terrible Life Choice"
    by Martin Ryan in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2009-03-18 17:50:00
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Cited by:
  1. Aleksander Kucel & Montserrat Vilalta-Bufi, 2012. "Why do university graduates regret their study program? A comparison between Spain and the Netherlands," Working Papers in Economics 279, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
  2. Borghans, Lex & Golsteyn, Bart H.H. & Stenberg, Anders, 2013. "Does Expert Advice Improve Educational Choice?," IZA Discussion Papers 7649, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Regula Geel & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2009. "Occupational Mobility Within and Between Skill Clusters: An Empirical Analysis Based on the Skill-Weights Approach," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0047, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).

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