IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Predicted Future Earnings and Choice of College Major


  • Mark C. Berger


Using Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Young Men, the author of this paper examines the relationship between predicted future earnings for five broad fields of study and college students' choice of major. Conditional logit models of major choice that incorporate alternative predicted earnings variables are specified and estimated. The results indicate that, holding family background characteristics constant, individuals are likely to choose majors offering greater streams of future earnings rather than, as some have argued, majors with higher beginning earnings at the time of the choice. It is also found that earnings profiles corrected for self-selection bias have flattened for more recent graduates in business, liberal arts, and education. The life-cycle earnings in these disciplines appear to be more severely depressed than those in science and engineering.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark C. Berger, 1988. "Predicted Future Earnings and Choice of College Major," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(3), pages 418-429, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:41:y:1988:i:3:p:418-429

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:41:y:1988:i:3:p:418-429. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.