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Why Is an Elite Undergraduate Education Valuable? Evidence from Israel

  • Kevin Lang

    ()

    (Boston University and NBER and IZA)

  • Erez Siniver

    ()

    (Department of Economics, College of Management Academic Studies, Rishon Le Zion, Israel)

In this paper we compare the labor market performance of Israeli students who graduated from one of the leading universities, Hebrew University (HU), with those who graduated from a professional undergraduate college, College of Management Academic Studies (COMAS). Our results support a model in which employers have good information about the quality of HU graduates and pay them according to their ability, but in which the market has relatively little information about COMAS graduates. Hence, high-skill COMAS graduates are initially treated as if they were the average COMAS graduate, who is weaker that a HU graduate, consequently earning less than HU graduates. However, over time the market differentiates among them so that after several years of experience, COMAS and HU graduates with similar entry scores have similar earnings. Our results are therefore consistent with the view that employers use education information to screen workers but that the market acquires information fairly rapidly.

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Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number WP2010-017.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2010-017
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