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The Economic Reward for Studying Economics

Author

Listed:
  • Dan A. Black
  • Seth Sanders
  • Lowell Taylor

Abstract

Undergraduate advisors in economics departments suggest that the study of economics is good preparation for a variety of careers, including economics, consulting, analysis, and administration, and they argue that economics is a solid prelaw or pre-MBA major. In this article we provide some empirical evidence about each of these contentions. We find that among college graduates who do not earn advanced degrees, economics majors generally earn more than similar individuals with other majors. We show also that among individuals who pursue graduate degree programs in business and law, economics majors earn more than undergraduate majors in most other academic disciplines. (JEL J31) Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Dan A. Black & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 2003. "The Economic Reward for Studying Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 365-377, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecinqu:v:41:y:2003:i:3:p:365-377
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/ei/cbg014
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nigel C. O’Leary & Peter J. Sloane, 2005. "The Return to a University Education in Great Britain," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 193(1), pages 75-89, July.
    2. John V. Winters, 2016. "Is economics a good major for future lawyers? Evidence from earnings data," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 187-191, April.
    3. John V. Winters & Weineng Xu, 2014. "Geographic Differences in the Earnings of Economics Majors," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(3), pages 262-276, September.
    4. Grove, Wayne A. & Hussey, Andrew, 2014. "Returns to MBA quality: Pecuniary and non-pecuniary returns to peers, faculty, and institution quality," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 43-54.
    5. Valerie Bostwick, 2016. "Signaling In Higher Education: The Effect Of Access To Elite Colleges On Choice Of Major," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(3), pages 1383-1401, July.
    6. Michael Simkovic & Frank McIntyre, 2014. "The Economic Value of a Law Degree," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 249-289.
    7. repec:pal:easeco:v:43:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1057_eej.2015.44 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. 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.
    9. Robst, John & VanGilder, Jennifer, 2016. "Salary and job satisfaction among economics and business graduates: The effect of match between degree field and job," International Review of Economics Education, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 30-40.
    10. Akbari, Ather H. & Aydede, Yigit, 2013. "Economic Benefits of Studying Economics in Canada: A Comparison of Wages of Economics Majors with those in Other Disciplines Circa 2005," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2013-6, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Feb 2013.
    11. Benito Arruñada & Xosé H. Vázquez, 2009. "Behavioral assumptions and management ability," Economics Working Papers 1157, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2010.
    12. 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.
    13. John Jerrim & Anna Vignoles & Ross Finnie, 2012. "University access for disadvantaged children: A comparison across English speaking countries," DoQSS Working Papers 12-11, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    14. Philip R. P. Coelho & Tung Liu, 2012. "The Returns to College Education," Working Papers 201202, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2012.
    15. Heisz, Andrew, 2003. "Cohort Effects in Annual Earnings by Field of Study Among British Columbia University Graduates," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003200e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    16. Robin L. Bartlett & Marianne A. Ferber & Carole A. Green, 2009. "Political Orientation and the Decision to Major in Economics: Some Preliminary Observations," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 8(1), pages 13-31.
    17. Fan, Jing-bo & Zhang, Cheng-gang, 2015. "A study of the rate of return to higher engineering education in China," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 106-114.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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