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The Role of Labour Market Expectations and Admission Probabilities in Students' Application Decisions on Higher Education: The Case of Hungary

  • Julia Varga

This paper analyses students' application strategies to higher education, the effects of labour market expectations and admission probabilities. The starting hypothesis of this study is that students consider the expected utility of their choices, a function of expected net lifetime earnings and the probability of admission. Based on a survey carried out among Hungarian secondary school students, three aspects of application decisions are investigated: the number of applications; the selection between state-funded and cost-priced education; and the institutions/field specialization ranked first and last in students' choices. The results of this paper confirm that both expected wages and admission probabilities determine students' application strategies and that the seemingly irrational student preferences for institutions/orientations with less favourable labour market opportunities might be the result of a rational decision process.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09645290600777535
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Education Economics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 309-327

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Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:14:y:2006:i:3:p:309-327
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  1. Montmarquette, Claude & Cannings, Kathy & Mahseredjian, Sophie, 2002. "How do young people choose college majors?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 543-556, December.
  2. Julia Varga, 2001. "Earnings Expectations and Higher Education Enrolment Decisions in Hungary," Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market 0110, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
  3. Jean Luc De Meulemeester & Denis Rochat, 2001. "Rational choice under unequal constraints: the example of Belgian higher education," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1565, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Chevalier, Arnaud & Conlon, Gavan, 2003. "Does It Pay to Attend a Prestigious University?," IZA Discussion Papers 848, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Brunello, Giorgio & Lucifora, Claudio & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2001. "The Wage Expectations of European College Students," CEPR Discussion Papers 2817, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 4936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Mark C. Berger, 1988. "Predicted future earnings and choice of college major," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(3), pages 418-429, April.
  8. Wolter, Stefan C, 2000. "Wage Expectations: A Comparison of Swiss and US Students," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 51-69.
  9. Julian R. Betts, 1996. "What Do Students Know about Wages? Evidence from a Survey of Undergraduates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 27-56.
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