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Student internships and employment opportunities after graduation: A field experiment

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  • Baert, By Stijn
  • Neyt, Brecht
  • Siedler, Thomas
  • Tobback, Ilse
  • Verhaest, Dieter

Abstract

Internships during tertiary education have become substantially more common over the past decades in many industrialised countries. This study examines the impact of a voluntary intra-curricular internship experience during university studies on the probability of being invited to a job interview. To estimate a causal relationship, we conducted a randomised field experiment in which we sent 1248 fictitious, but realistic, resumes to real job openings. We find that applicants with internship experience have, on average, a 12.6% higher probability of being invited to a job interview.

Suggested Citation

  • Baert, By Stijn & Neyt, Brecht & Siedler, Thomas & Tobback, Ilse & Verhaest, Dieter, 2021. "Student internships and employment opportunities after graduation: A field experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:83:y:2021:i:c:s0272775721000601
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2021.102141
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Holford, Angus, 2017. "Access to and returns from unpaid graduate internships," ISER Working Paper Series 2017-07, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Nunley, John M. & Pugh, Adam & Romero, Nicholas & Seals, R. Alan, 2016. "College major, internship experience, and employment opportunities: Estimates from a résumé audit," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 37-46.
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    5. David Neumark, 2012. "Detecting Discrimination in Audit and Correspondence Studies," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(4), pages 1128-1157.
    6. Stijn Baert & Bart Cockx & Niels Gheyle & Cora Vandamme, 2015. "Is There Less Discrimination in Occupations Where Recruitment Is Difficult?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(3), pages 467-500, May.
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    9. Dieter Verhaest & Stijn Baert, 2018. "The effects of workplace learning in higher education on employment and match quality: is there an early-career trade-off?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 55(3), pages 1229-1270, November.
    10. Cerulli-Harms, Annette, 2017. "Generation Internship: The Impact of Internships on Early Labour Market Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 11163, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    12. Stefan Eriksson & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2014. "Do Employers Use Unemployment as a Sorting Criterion When Hiring? Evidence from a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(3), pages 1014-1039, March.
    13. George J. Stigler, 1962. "Information in the Labor Market," NBER Chapters, in: Investment in Human Beings, pages 94-105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Baert, Stijn, 2017. "Hiring Discrimination: An Overview of (Almost) All Correspondence Experiments Since 2005," IZA Discussion Papers 10738, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Stijn Baert & Olivier Rotsaert & Dieter Verhaest & Eddy Omey, 2016. "Student Employment and Later Labour Market Success: No Evidence for Higher Employment Chances," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 401-425, August.
    16. David J. Deming & Noam Yuchtman & Amira Abulafi & Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2016. "The Value of Postsecondary Credentials in the Labor Market: An Experimental Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(3), pages 778-806, March.
    17. Drydakis, Nick, 2016. "The effect of university attended on graduates’ labour market prospects: A field study of Great Britain," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 192-208.
    18. ., 2018. "Turning around failing vocational high schools," Chapters, in: Human Capital and Development, chapter 4, pages 115-148, Edward Elgar Publishing.
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    20. David Neumark, 2018. "Experimental Research on Labor Market Discrimination," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(3), pages 799-866, September.
    21. Stijn Baert & Dieter Verhaest, 2019. "Unemployment or Overeducation: Which is a Worse Signal to Employers?," De Economist, Springer, vol. 167(1), pages 1-21, March.
    22. Dieter Verhaest & Elene Bogaert & Jeroen Dereymaeker & Laura Mestdagh & Stijn Baert, 2018. "Do Employers Prefer Overqualified Graduates? A Field Experiment," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 361-388, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Bolli & Katherine Caves & Maria Esther Oswald-Egg, 2021. "Valuable Experience: How University Internships Affect Graduates’ Income," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 62(8), pages 1198-1247, December.
    2. Neyt, Brecht & Verhaest, Dieter & Baert, Stijn, 2019. "The Impact of Internship Experience During Secondary Education on Schooling and Labour Market Outcomes," GLO Discussion Paper Series 425, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    3. Di Meglio, Gisela & Barge-Gil, Andrés & Camiña, Ester & Moreno, Lourdes, 2019. "Knocking on Employment´s Door: Internships and Job Attainment," MPRA Paper 95712, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Internship; Hiring; Field experiment; Human capital; Signalling;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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