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Do wage expectations predict college enrollment? Evidence from healthcare

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  • Schweri, Juerg
  • Hartog, Joop

Abstract

We study the effect of ex ante expected wages rather than realized wages on the decision to pursue a nursing college education in Switzerland. On average, wage expectations reflect observed market wages, but with large dispersion among individuals. We collected data from a full cohort of healthcare trainees in their third year of training on upper-secondary level. Those trainees who expected a greater return from nursing college (tertiary level) were more likely to enroll in nursing college later on; the effect is substantial and almost orthogonal to individuals’ characteristics. This indicates that policies that increase returns from studying nursing can indeed attract new students to reduce the shortage of nurses. Subjective ex ante wage expectation data are useful in predicting the decision to enroll in college.

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  • Schweri, Juerg & Hartog, Joop, 2017. "Do wage expectations predict college enrollment? Evidence from healthcare," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 135-150.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:141:y:2017:i:c:p:135-150
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2017.06.010
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    College enrollment; Subjective expectations; Training; Wage; Fractional regression; Nursing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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