IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/h/eme/rleczz/s0147-912120170000045004.html
   My bibliography  Save this book chapter

The Changing Occupational Distribution by College Major

In: Skill Mismatch in Labor Markets

Author

Listed:
  • Michael R. Ransom
  • Aaron Phipps

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the occupational distribution of individuals who hold bachelor degrees in particular fields in the United States using data from the various waves of the National Survey of College Graduates. We propose and calculate indices that describe two related aspects of the occupational distribution by major field of study: distinctiveness (how dissimilar are the occupations of a particular major when compared with all other majors) and variety (how varied are the occupations among those who hold that particular major). We discuss theoretical properties of these indices and statistical properties of their estimates. We show that the occupational variety has increased since 1993 for most major fields of study, particularly between the 1993 and 2003 waves of the survey. We explore reasons for this broadening of the occupation distribution. We find that this has not led to an increase in reported mismatch between degree and occupation.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael R. Ransom & Aaron Phipps, 2017. "The Changing Occupational Distribution by College Major," Research in Labor Economics, in: Solomon W. Polachek & Konstantinos Pouliakas & Giovanni Russo & Konstantinos Tatsiramos (ed.), Skill Mismatch in Labor Markets, volume 45, pages 129-171, Emerald Publishing Ltd.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:rleczz:s0147-912120170000045004
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/S0147-912120170000045004?utm_campaign=RePEc&WT.mc_id=RePEc
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers
    ---><---

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

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Long, Mark C. & Goldhaber, Dan & Huntington-Klein, Nick, 2015. "Do completed college majors respond to changes in wages?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 1-14.
    2. Paul Beaudry & David A. Green & Benjamin M. Sand, 2016. "The Great Reversal in the Demand for Skill and Cognitive Tasks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 199-247.
    3. Freeman, James A. & Hirsch, Barry T., 2008. "College majors and the knowledge content of jobs," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 517-535, October.
    4. Robst, John, 2007. "Education and job match: The relatedness of college major and work," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 397-407, August.
    5. Jaison R. Abel & Richard Deitz, 2017. "Underemployment in the Early Careers of College Graduates following the Great Recession," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Skills, and Technical Change: Implications for Future US GDP Growth, pages 149-181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Yamaguchi, Shintaro, 2010. "The effect of match quality and specific experience on career decisions and wage growth," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 407-423, April.
    7. Joseph G. Altonji & Erica Blom & Costas Meghir, 2012. "Heterogeneity in Human Capital Investments: High School Curriculum, College Major, and Careers," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 185-223, July.
    8. 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.
    9. Altonji, J.G. & Arcidiacono, P. & Maurel, A., 2016. "The Analysis of Field Choice in College and Graduate School," Handbook of the Economics of Education,, Elsevier.
    10. Blom, Erica & Cadena, Brian C. & Keys, Benjamin J., 2015. "Investment over the Business Cycle: Insights from College Major Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 9167, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Randy P. Albelda, 1986. "Occupational Segregation by Race and Gender, 1958–1981," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(3), pages 404-411, April.
    12. Michael R. Ransom, 2000. "Sampling Distributions of Segregation Indexes," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 28(4), pages 454-475, May.
    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. Shimeng Liu & Weizeng Sun & John V. Winters, 2019. "Up In Stem, Down In Business: Changing College Major Decisions With The Great Recession," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 476-491, July.
    2. Arpita Patnaik & Matthew J. Wiswall & Basit Zafar, 2020. "College Majors," NBER Working Papers 27645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ransom, Tyler, 2020. "Selective Migration, Occupational Choice, and the Wage Returns to College Majors," IZA Discussion Papers 13370, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Shimeng Liu & Weizeng Sun & John V. Winters, 2019. "Up In Stem, Down In Business: Changing College Major Decisions With The Great Recession," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 37(3), pages 476-491, July.
    2. Han, Luyi & Winters, John V., 2020. "Industry Fluctuations and College Major Choices: Evidence from an Energy Boom and Bust," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    3. Arpita Patnaik & Matthew J. Wiswall & Basit Zafar, 2020. "College Majors," NBER Working Papers 27645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Graves, Jennifer & Kuehn, Zoë, 2021. "Specializing in growing sectors: Wage returns and gender differences," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    5. Joseph G. Altonji & Peter Arcidiacono & Arnaud Maurel, 2015. "The Analysis of Field Choice in College and Graduate School: Determinants and Wage Effects," NBER Working Papers 21655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Di Paolo, Antonio & Tansel, Aysit, 2017. "Analyzing Wage Differentials by Fields of Study: Evidence from Turkey," GLO Discussion Paper Series 91, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    7. Thomas Lemieux, 2014. "Occupations, fields of study and returns to education," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1047-1077, November.
    8. Alena Bičáková & Guido Matias Cortes & Jacopo Mazza, 2021. "Caught in the Cycle: Economic Conditions at Enrolment and Labour Market Outcomes of College Graduates," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 131(638), pages 2383-2412.
    9. Hilmer, Michael J. & Hilmer, Christiana E., 2012. "On the relationship between student tastes and motivations, higher education decisions, and annual earnings," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 66-75.
    10. John V. Winters & Weineng Xu, 2014. "Geographic Differences in the Earnings of Economics Majors," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(3), pages 262-276, September.
    11. Di Paolo, Antonio & Tansel, Aysit, 2017. "Analyzing Wage Differentials by Fields of Study: Evidence from Turkey," GLO Discussion Paper Series 91, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    12. Ersoy, Fulya Y., 2020. "The effects of the great recession on college majors," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    13. Leighton, Margaret & Speer, Jamin D., 2020. "Labor market returns to college major specificity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    14. Khan, Bilal Muhammad, 2019. "Education Occupation Mismatch in Developing countries," MPRA Paper 92324, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    15. Fricke, Hans & Grogger, Jeffrey & Steinmayr, Andreas, 2018. "Exposure to academic fields and college major choice," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 199-213.
    16. Yanqing Ding & Wei Li & Xin Li & Yinduo Wu & Jin Yang & Xiaoyang Ye, 2021. "Heterogeneous Major Preferences for Extrinsic Incentives: The Effects of Wage Information on the Gender Gap in STEM Major Choice," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 62(8), pages 1113-1145, December.
    17. Luc Bridet & Margaret Leighton, 2015. "The Major Decision: Labor Market Implications of the Timing of Specialization in College," Discussion Paper Series, School of Economics and Finance 201510, School of Economics and Finance, University of St Andrews.
    18. Antecol, Heather & Cobb-Clark, Deborah A., 2013. "Do psychosocial traits help explain gender segregation in young people's occupations?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 59-73.
    19. Leighton, Margaret & Speer, Jamin D., 2020. "Labor market returns to college major specificity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    20. Berlingieri, Francesco & Zierahn, Ulrich, 2014. "Field of study, qualification mismatch, and wages: Does sorting matter?," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-076, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Occupations; college major; J24; J21;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    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:eme:rleczz:s0147-912120170000045004. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://www.emerald.com .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Charlotte Maiorana (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.emerald.com .

    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.