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The Labor-Market Returns to Community College Degrees, Diplomas, and Certificates

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Author Info

  • Jepsen, Christopher

    ()
    (University College Dublin)

  • Troske, Kenneth

    ()
    (University of Kentucky)

  • Coomes, Paul A.

    ()
    (University of Louisville)

Abstract

This paper provides among the first rigorous estimates of the labor-market returns to community college certificates and diplomas, as well as estimating the returns to the more commonly-studied associate's degrees. Using administrative data from Kentucky, we estimate panel-data models that control for differences among students in pre-college earnings and educational aspirations. Associate's degrees and diplomas have quarterly earnings returns of nearly $2,400 for women and $1,500 for men, compared with much smaller returns for certificates. There is substantial heterogeneity in returns across fields of study. Degrees, diplomas, and – for women – certificates correspond with higher levels of employment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6902.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6902

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Keywords: returns to school; community college; diploma; certificate;

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References

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  1. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, December.
  2. Louis Jacobson & Robert LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 2002. "Estimating the returns to community college schooling for displaced workers," Working Paper Series, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago WP-02-31, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Kevin Lang & Russell Weinstein, 2012. "Evaluating Student Outcomes at For-Profit Colleges," NBER Working Papers 18201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Grubb, W. Norton, 2002. "Learning and earning in the middle, part II: state and local studies of pre-baccalaureate education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 401-414, October.
  5. Norton Grubb, W., 1997. "The returns to education in the sub-baccalaureate labor market, 1984-1990," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 231-245, June.
  6. Grubb, W. Norton, 2002. "Learning and earning in the middle, part I: national studies of pre-baccalaureate education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 299-321, August.
  7. Duane E. Leigh & Andrew M. Gill, 1997. "Labor Market Returns to Community Colleges: Evidence for Returning Adults," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(2), pages 334-353.
  8. Kevin M. Stange, 2012. "An Empirical Investigation of the Option Value of College Enrollment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 49-84, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Holzer, Harry J. & Dunlop Velez, Erin, 2013. "Just the Facts, Ma'am: Postsecondary Education and Labor Market Outcomes in the U.S," IZA Discussion Papers 7319, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Robert W. Fairlie & Samantha H. Grunberg, 2014. "Access To Technology And The Transfer Function Of Community Colleges: Evidence From A Field Experiment," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 52(3), pages 1040-1059, 07.
  3. Blomquist Glenn C. & Troske Kenneth R. & Coomes Paul A. & Jepsen Christopher & Koford Brandon C., 2014. "Estimating the social value of higher education: willingness to pay for community and technical colleges," Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 39, January.
  4. Saniter, Nils & Siedler, Thomas, 2014. "Door Opener or Waste of Time? The Effects of Student Internships on Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 8141, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Cory Koedel & Rajeev Darolia & Paco Martorell & Katie Wilson & Francisco Perez-Arce, 2014. "Do Employers Prefer Workers Who Attend For-Profit Colleges? Evidence from a Field Experiment," Working Papers, Department of Economics, University of Missouri 141, Department of Economics, University of Missouri.
  6. Cellini, Stephanie Riegg, 2012. "For-Profit Higher Education: An Assessment Of Costs And Benefits," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 65(1), pages 153-79, March.

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