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Time-to-degree and the business cycle

  • Dolores Messer
  • Stefan Wolter

This paper presents the results of an empirical investigation trying to explain individual time-to-degree variances with business cycle fluctuations. Assuming that students determine the optimum study length at university weighing up the cost of an additional semester against the consumption benefit of studying and not yet working, the general economic environment during the study period should, in turn, influence the individual time-to-degree through changes in the cost level and the consumption benefit of an additional semester. The investigation, using a representative data-set based on Swiss university graduates from 1981 to 2001, shows that changes in the unemployment rate have a significant impact on individual time-to-degree.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09645290903102860
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Education Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 111-123

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Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:18:y:2010:i:1:p:111-123
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  1. Brunello, Giorgio & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "Why do students expect to stay longer in college? Evidence from Europe," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 247-253, August.
  2. Dellas, Harris & Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 1996. "On the cyclicality of schooling: Theory and evidence," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1997002, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  3. Messer, Dolores & Wolter, Stefan C., 2005. "Are Student Exchange Programs Worth It?," IZA Discussion Papers 1656, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Dellas, Harris & Koubi, Vally, 2003. "Business cycles and schooling," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 843-859, November.
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