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Can perceived returns explain enrollment gaps in postgraduate education?

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  • Boneva, Teodora
  • Golin, Marta
  • Rauh, Christopher

Abstract

To understand students’ motives in obtaining postgraduate qualifications, we elicit intentions to pursue postgraduate education and beliefs about its returns in a sample of 1002 university students. We find large gaps in perceptions about the immediate and later-life benefits of postgraduate education, both between first- and continuing-generation students and within the latter group. Differences in student beliefs about returns can account for 70% of the socioeconomic gaps in intentions to pursue postgraduate studies. We document large differences in students’ current undergraduate experiences by socioeconomic background and find these to be predictive of perceived returns to postgraduate education.

Suggested Citation

  • Boneva, Teodora & Golin, Marta & Rauh, Christopher, 2022. "Can perceived returns explain enrollment gaps in postgraduate education?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:77:y:2022:i:c:s0927537121000336
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2021.101998
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    Cited by:

    1. Leibing, Andreas & Peter, Frauke & Waights, Sevrin & Spieß, C. Katharina, 2022. "Gender Gaps in Early Wage Expectations," IZA Discussion Papers 15281, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Gizem Koşar & Cormac O'Dea, 2022. "Expectations Data in Structural Microeconomic Models," NBER Working Papers 30094, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Haaland, Ingar & Roth, Christopher & Wohlfart. Johannes, 2020. "Designing Information Provision Experiments," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1275, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    4. Boneva, Teodora & Buser, Thomas & Falk, Armin & Kosse, Fabian, 2021. "The Origins of Gender Differences in Competitiveness and Earnings Expectations: Causal Evidence from a Mentoring Intervention," IZA Discussion Papers 14800, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Jo Blanden & Matthias Doepke & Jan Stuhler, 2022. "Education inequality," CEP Discussion Papers dp1849, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    6. Boneva, Teodora & Kaufmann, Katja & Rauh, Christopher, 2021. "Maternal labor supply: Perceived returns, constraints, and social norms," CEPR Discussion Papers 16095, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Esteban M. Aucejo & Jacob F. French & Basit Zafar, 2021. "Estimating Students' Valuation for College Experiences," NBER Working Papers 28511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Pamela Giustinelli, 2022. "Expectations in Education: Framework, Elicitation, and Evidence," Working Papers 2022-026, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    9. Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Nilsson, William, 2022. "The reliability of students’ earnings expectations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).
    10. Jan Berkes & Frauke Peter & C. Katharina Spiess & Felix Weinhardt, 2022. "Information Provision and Postgraduate Studies," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 89(355), pages 627-646, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Higher education; Beliefs; Socioeconomic inequality; Intergenerational mobility; Postgraduate education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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