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On the relationship between student tastes and motivations, higher education decisions, and annual earnings

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  • Hilmer, Michael J.
  • Hilmer, Christiana E.

Abstract

We examine the degree to which measures of student tastes and motivations are associated with the outcomes of three important higher education decisions and subsequent annual earnings. Within a sample of nearly 9000 students from the Baccalaureate and Beyond, we find that these measures are correlated with college type, college major, and highest postgraduate degree earned in generally predictable ways. For instance, students claiming it important to be well-off financially are significantly more likely to attend top public universities and major in Business or Engineering while students claiming it important to live near family are significantly less likely to attend top quality private institutions and significantly more likely to major in education.

Suggested Citation

  • Hilmer, Michael J. & Hilmer, Christiana E., 2012. "On the relationship between student tastes and motivations, higher education decisions, and annual earnings," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 66-75.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:1:p:66-75
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2011.09.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Freeman, James A. & Hirsch, Barry T., 2008. "College majors and the knowledge content of jobs," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 517-535, October.
    2. Robst, John, 2007. "Education and job match: The relatedness of college major and work," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 397-407, August.
    3. Dominic J. Brewer & Eric R. Eide & Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1999. "Does It Pay to Attend an Elite Private College? Cross-Cohort Evidence on the Effects of College Type on Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 104-123.
    4. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 2002. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1491-1527.
    5. Montmarquette, Claude & Cannings, Kathy & Mahseredjian, Sophie, 2002. "How do young people choose college majors?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 543-556, December.
    6. Olbrecht, Alexandre, 2009. "Do academically deficient scholarship athletes earn higher wages subsequent to graduation?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 611-619, October.
    7. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2004. "Ability sorting and the returns to college major," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 343-375.
    8. Eide, Eric & Waehrer, Geetha, 1998. "The Role of the Option Value of College Attendance in College Major Choice," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 73-82, February.
    9. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Donald, Stephen G., 2008. "The effect of college curriculum on earnings: An affinity identifier for non-ignorable non-response bias," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 479-491, June.
    10. Gabriele Ballarino & Massimiliano Bratti, 2009. "Field of Study and University Graduates' Early Employment Outcomes in Italy during 1995-2004," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 23(3), pages 421-457, September.
    11. Rumberger, Russell W. & Thomas, Scott L., 1993. "The economic returns to college major, quality and performance: A multilevel analysis of recent graduates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-19, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Deniz Gevrek & Z Eylem Gevrek & Cahit Guven, 2015. "Benefits of Education at the Intensive Margin: Childhood Academic Performance and Adult Outcomes among American Immigrants," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 41(3), pages 298-328, June.
    2. Berlingieri, Francesco & Zierahn, Ulrich, 2014. "Field of study, qualification mismatch, and wages: Does sorting matter?," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-076, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. SELLAMI, Sana & VERHAEST, Dieter & NONNEMAN, Walter & VAN TRIER, Walter, 2015. "Education as investment, consumption or adapting to social norm: Implications for educational mismatch among graduates," Working Papers 2015014, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    4. repec:spr:reihed:v:58:y:2017:i:8:d:10.1007_s11162-017-9451-5 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    College major choice; College type choice; Postsecondary attendance; Student tastes and motivations;

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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