IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/taf/edecon/v17y2009i2p185-213.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Choice of fields of study of university Canadian graduates: the role of gender and their parents' education

Author

Listed:
  • Brahim Boudarbat
  • Claude Montmarquette

Abstract

This paper examines the determinants of the choice of field of study by university students using data from the Canadian National Graduate Survey. The sample of 18,708 graduates holding a Bachelor degree is interesting in itself, knowing that these students completed their study and thus represent a pool of high-quality individuals. What impact do expected post-graduation lifetime earnings have in choosing their field of study respectively to their non-pecuniary preferences? Are these individuals less or more influenced by monetary incentives on their decision than was found in previous literature with samples of university students not all completing their studies successfully? Unlike existing studies, we account for the probability that students will be able to find employment related to their field of study when evaluating lifetime earnings after graduation. The parameters that drive students' choices of fields of study are estimated using a mixed multinomial logit model applied to seven broadly defined fields. Results indicate that the weight put by a student on initial earnings and earnings' rate of growth earnings depends upon the education level of the parent of the same gender. Surprisingly, lifetime earnings have no statistically significant impact when the parent of the same gender as the student has a university education. Results show that men are, in general, more sensitive than women to initial income variations, whilst women are more sensitive than men to the earnings' rate of growth variations. Marital status, enrolment status and the vocation identified with each field of study are influential factors in students' choices. Finally, substantial increases in lifetime earnings would be necessary to draw students into fields of study they are not inclined to choose initially.

Suggested Citation

  • Brahim Boudarbat & Claude Montmarquette, 2009. "Choice of fields of study of university Canadian graduates: the role of gender and their parents' education," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 185-213.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:17:y:2009:i:2:p:185-213 DOI: 10.1080/09645290802133032
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09645290802133032
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bas Jacobs & Frederick Van Der Ploeg, 2006. "Guide to reform of higher education: a European perspective," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 535-592, July.
    2. Tsakloglou, Panos & Antoninis, Manos, 1999. "On the distributional impact of public education: evidence from Greece," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, pages 439-452.
    3. Tim Callan & Tim Smeeding & Panos Tsakloglou, 2007. "Distributional Effects of Public Education Transfers in Seven European Countries," Papers WP207, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    4. Tom Sefton, 2002. "Recent Changes in the Distribution of the Social Wage," CASE Papers case62, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    5. Kathryn Wilson, 2000. "Using the Psid to Study the Effects of School Spending," Public Finance Review, , vol. 28(5), pages 428-451, September.
    6. Christopher Heady & Theodore Mitrakos & Panos Tsakloglou, 2001. "The distributional impact of social transfers in the European Union: evidence from the ECHP," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, pages 547-565..
    7. Lorraine Dearden & Emla Fitzsimons & Alissa Goodman & Greg Kaplan, 2008. "Higher Education Funding Reforms in England: The Distributional Effects and the Shifting Balance of Costs," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages 100-125, February.
    8. Nicholas Barr, 2004. "Higher Education Funding," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 264-283, Summer.
    9. Parsons,Craig A. & Smeeding,Timothy M. (ed.), 2006. "Immigration and the Transformation of Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521861939, December.
    10. Estelle James & Gail Benjamin, 1987. "Educational Distribution and Income Redistribution through Education in Japan," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(4), pages 469-489.
    11. Kathryn Wilson & Kristina Lambright & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2004. "School Finance, Equivalent Educational Expenditure, and Income Distribution: Equal Dollars or Equal Chances for Success?," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 62, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    12. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
    13. Manos Antoninis & Panos Tsakloglou, 2001. "Who Benefits from Public Education in Greece? Evidence and Policy Implications," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 197-222.
    14. François Marical & Marco Mira d'Ercole & Maria Vaalavuo & Gerlinde Verbist, 2006. "Publicly-provided Services and the Distribution of Resources," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 45, OECD Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Sergey Roshchin & Victor Rudakov, 2015. "Do Starting Salaries for Graduates Measure the Quality of Education? A Review of Studies by Russian and Foreign Authors," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 1, pages 137-181.
    2. repec:spr:empeco:v:52:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1121-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Berlingieri, Francesco & Zierahn, Ulrich, 2014. "Field of study, qualification mismatch, and wages: Does sorting matter?," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-076, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. Brahim Boudarbat & Claude Montmarquette, 2013. "Origine et sources de la surqualification dans la région métropolitaine de Montréal," CIRANO Project Reports 2013rp-08, CIRANO.
    5. Grossmann, Volker & Osikominu, Aderonke & Osterfeld, Marius, 2016. "Sociocultural Background and Choice of STEM Majors at University," CEPR Discussion Papers 11250, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Boudarbat, Brahim & Chernoff, Victor, 2009. "The Determinants of Education-Job Match among Canadian University Graduates," IZA Discussion Papers 4513, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Glocker, Daniela & Storck, Johanna, 2014. "Risks and returns to educational fields – A financial asset approach to vocational and academic education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 109-129.
    8. Simona Iammarino & Elisabetta Marinelli, 2012. "Education-Job (Mis)Matching And Interregional Migration: Italian University Graduates’ Transition To Work," Working Papers 8, Birkbeck Centre for Innovation Management Research, revised Sep 2012.
    9. Nifo, Annamaria & Scalera, Domenico & Vecchione, Gaetano, 2016. "What do you want to be when you grow up? Local institutional quality and the choice of the fields of study in Italy (2004-2007)," MPRA Paper 69907, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    Corrections

    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:taf:edecon:v:17:y:2009:i:2:p:185-213. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: http://www.tandfonline.com/CEDE20 .

    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.