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Who Receives the College Wage Premium?: Assessing the Labor Market Returns to Degrees and College Transfer Patterns

  • Audrey Light
  • Wayne Strayer

Using data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we estimate wage models in which college-educated workers are classified according to their degree attainment, college type, and college transfer status. The detailed taxonomy produces modest improvements in explanatory power relative to standard specifications, and reveals considerable heterogeneity in the predicted wages of college-educated workers. We find that transfer students receive an “indirect” wage benefit insofar as changing colleges allows them to earn a degree. Some transfer students receive an additional “direct” wage benefit, presumably because switching schools increases their skill investment opportunities.

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File URL: http://jhr.uwpress.org/cgi/reprint/XXXIX/3/746
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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 39 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:39:y:2004:i:3:p746-773
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  7. Jaeger, David A & Page, Marianne E, 1996. "Degrees Matter: New Evidence on Sheepskin Effects in the Returns to Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 733-40, November.
  8. Comay, Yochanan & Melnik, A & Pollatschek, M A, 1973. "The Option Value of Education and the Optimal Path for Investment in Human Capital," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(2), pages 421-35, June.
  9. Dominic J. Brewer & Eric Eide & Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1996. "Does It Pay To Attend An Elite Private College? Cross Cohort Evidence on the Effects of College Quality on Earnings," NBER Working Papers 5613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Loury, Linda Datcher & Garman, David, 1995. "College Selectivity and Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 289-308, April.
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