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

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  • Julia Varga

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Julia Varga, 2006. "The Role of Labour Market Expectations and Admission Probabilities in Students' Application Decisions on Higher Education: The Case of Hungary," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 309-327.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:14:y:2006:i:3:p:309-327
    DOI: 10.1080/09645290600777535
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Chevalier, Arnaud & Conlon, Gavan, 2003. "Does It Pay to Attend a Prestigious University?," IZA Discussion Papers 848, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Rochat, Denis & Demeulemeester, Jean-Luc, 2001. "Rational choice under unequal constraints: the example of Belgian higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 15-26, February.
    3. Wolter, Stefan C, 2000. "Wage Expectations: A Comparison of Swiss and US Students," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 51-69.
    4. Júlia Varga, 2002. "Earnings Expectations and Higher-education Enrolment Decisions in Hungary," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 24(1), pages 121-152, July.
    5. Brunello, Giorgio & Lucifora, Claudio & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2001. "The Wage Expectations of European College Students," IZA Discussion Papers 299, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. 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.
    7. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-26.
    8. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Mihails Hazans & Ija Trapeznikova, 2006. "Access to Secondary Education in Albania: Incentives, Obstacles, and Policy Spillovers," SSE Riga/BICEPS Research Papers 2006-1, Baltic International Centre for Economic Policy Studies (BICEPS);Stockholm School of Economics in Riga (SSE Riga).
    2. Tomasz Gajderowicz & Gabriela Grotkowska & Jerzy Mycielski & Leszek Wincenciak, 2014. "Social and economic determinants of higher education choices in Poland," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 38.
    3. Riphahn, Regina T. & Trübswetter, Parvati, 2011. "The intergenerational transmission of educational attainment in East and West Germany," IAB Discussion Paper 201104, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    4. Török, Ádám, 2008. "A mezőny és tükörképei. Megjegyzések a magyar felsőoktatási rangsorok hasznáról és korlátairól
      [The field and reflections of it. Comments on the usefulness and limitations of league tables in Hunga
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(10), pages 874-890.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human capital; higher education; field of study; earnings expectations;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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