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Time-to-Degree and the Business Cycle

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  • Messer, Dolores

    ()
    (University of Bern)

  • Wolter, Stefan C.

    ()
    (University of Bern)

Abstract

When students themselves enjoy large degrees of freedom in determining the duration of their studies, it results in a fairly large degree of interindividual variance in terms of time-to-degree. This paper investigates individual time-to-degree in a model where students determine the optimum time-to-degree whilst weighing up the cost against the consumption benefit accruing from an additional semester of studies. According to this model, the cost level and consumption benefit depend, in turn, on the general economic environment during the study period. An empirical investigation using a data set based on Swiss university graduates from 1981 to 2001 shows that changes in the unemployment rate, real interest rate, wage levels, and economic growth have a significant impact on individual time-to-degree. These results are consistent with the conclusions derived from the theoretical model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2787.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2787

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Keywords: consumption benefit; time-to-degree; business cycle;

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References

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  1. Messer, Dolores & Wolter, Stefan C., 2005. "Are Student Exchange Programs Worth It?," IZA Discussion Papers 1656, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Giorgio Brunello & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2002. "Why Do Students Expect to Stay Longer in College? Evidence from Europe," Economics working papers 2002-10, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  3. Harris Dellas & Plutarchos Sakellaris, 2003. "On the cyclicality of schooling: theory and evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 148-172, January.
  4. Dellas, Harris & Koubi, Vally, 2003. "Business cycles and schooling," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 843-859, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Carmen Aina & Eliana Baici & Giorgia Casalone, 2010. "Time-to-Degree: Students' Abilities, University Characteristics or What Else? Evidence from Italy," Working Papers 130, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
  2. M. Gaini & A. Leduc & A. Vicard, 2012. "School as a shelter? School leaving-age and the business cycle in France," Documents de Travail de la DESE - Working Papers of the DESE g2012-04, Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques, DESE.
  3. Gitto, Lara & Minervini, Leo Fulvio & Monaco, Luisa, 2012. "University dropouts: supply-side issues in Italy," MPRA Paper 56656, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2013.
  4. Bradley, Elizabeth S., 2012. "The Effect of the Business Cycle on Freshman Major Choice," MPRA Paper 42412, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Denzler, Stefan & Wolter, Stefan C., 2011. "Too Far to Go? Does Distance Determine Study Choices?," IZA Discussion Papers 5712, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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