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Rates of Return to Education: The View of Students in Switzerland

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Author Info

  • Wolter, Stefan C.

    ()
    (University of Bern)

  • Zbinden, André

    (affiliation not available)

Abstract

Wage expectations are important determinants for individual schooling decisions. However, research on individual expectations of students is scarce. The paper presents the Swiss results of a survey that was conducted in 10 European countries. Its main findings are that point estimates of wages after graduation are close to actual wages, whereas the expectations of the wage gain in the first ten years of professional experience exceed the actual wage gains significantly. While most of the deviation of individual expectations from actual wages can not be explained, we find that rates of return to education that are calculated on the base of individual wage and cost expectations as well as individual time preferences can be explained partially by the seniority of students, the self-perception of their academic performance and their subjective job perspectives. The high degree of unexplained heterogeneity in individual expectations and the differences between groups of students show the necessity to analyse the question further with bigger and more representative samples.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 371.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2001
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: International Journal of Manpower, 2002, 23 (5), 458-470
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp371

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Keywords: wages; Rates of return to education; expectations;

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References

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  1. Julian R. Betts, 1996. "What Do Students Know about Wages? Evidence from a Survey of Undergraduates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 27-56.
  2. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 4936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. J. Dominitz & C. F. Manski, . "Using expectations data to study subjective income expectations," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1050-94, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  4. Brunello, Giorgio & Lucifora, Claudio & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2001. "The Wage Expectations of European College Students," IZA Discussion Papers 299, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Schmalensee, Richard, 1976. "An Experimental Study of Expectation Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(1), pages 17-41, January.
  6. Josef Fersterer & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2000. "Smoking, discount rates, and returns to education," Economics working papers 2000-02, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  7. Francine D. Blau & Marianne A. Ferber, 1991. "Career Plans and Expectations of Young Women and Men: The Earnings Gap and Labor Force Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(4), pages 581-607.
  8. Charles T. Clotfelter & Michael Rothschild, 1993. "Studies of Supply and Demand in Higher Education," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot93-1.
  9. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Adolescent Econometricians: How Do Youth Infer the Returns to Schooling?," NBER Chapters, in: Studies of Supply and Demand in Higher Education, pages 43-60 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Psacharopoulos, George, 1996. "Economics of education: A research agenda," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 339-344, October.
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  12. Trostel, P. & Walker, I., 2000. "Education and Work," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 554, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  13. Jeff Dominitz, 1998. "Earnings Expectations, Revisions, And Realizations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(3), pages 374-388, August.
  14. Lauer, Charlotte, 2000. "Enrolments in higher education in West Germany: the impact of social background, labour market returns and educational funding," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-59, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  15. Carvajal, Manuel J. & Bendana, David & Bozorgmanesh, Alireza & Castillo, Miguel A. & Pourmasiha, Katayoun & Rao, Priya & Torres, Juan A., 2000. "Inter-gender differentials between college students' earnings expectations and the experience of recent graduates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 229-243, June.
  16. Wolter, Stefan C, 2000. "Wage Expectations: A Comparison of Swiss and US Students," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 51-69.
  17. Kathryn Wilson & Barbara Wolfe & Robert Haveman, 2005. "The Role of Expectations in Adolescent Schooling Choices: Do Youths Respond to Economic Incentives?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 43(3), pages 467-492, July.
  18. Stefan C. Wolter & Bernhard A. Weber, 1999. "On the Measurement of Private Rates of Return to Education," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 218(5+6), pages 605-618, May.
  19. Hessel Oosterbeek & Hans van Ophem, 2000. "Schooling choices: Preferences, discount rates, and rates of return," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 15-34.
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Cited by:
  1. Stefanescu, Razvan & Dumitriu, Ramona & Nistor, Costel, 2011. "Motivations for the Bessarabian youth to study in Romanian universities," MPRA Paper 41621, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Oct 2011.

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