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The Wage Expectations of European College Students

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  • Brunello, Giorgio
  • Lucifora, Claudio
  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf

Abstract

Expected earnings and expected returns to education are seen by labour economists as a major determinant of educational attainment. In spite of this, the empirical knowledge about expectations and their formation is scarce. In this Paper we report the results of the first systematic study of the wage expectations of European college students. Our data are based on the replies to the same questionnaire by more than 6000 college students all over Europe. We study the determinants of wage expectations and expected employment probabilities, the variability of these expectations within a field of study and their variation across universities and fields. We also examine the trade-off between expected starting wages and wage growth. In the final section of the paper, we contrast expected returns to education with actual returns estimated from country-specific microdata. In line with US studies we find that students overestimate returns to education.

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  • Brunello, Giorgio & Lucifora, Claudio & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2001. "The Wage Expectations of European College Students," CEPR Discussion Papers 2817, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2817
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    Cited by:

    1. Schweri, Juerg & Hartog, Joop & Wolter, Stefan C., 2011. "Do students expect compensation for wage risk?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 215-227, April.
    2. Massimiliano Bratti, 2005. "Social Class and Undergraduate Degree Subject in the UK," UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics unimi-1015, Universitá degli Studi di Milano.
    3. Júlia Varga, 2002. "Earnings Expectations and Higher-education Enrolment Decisions in Hungary," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 24(1), pages 121-152, July.
    4. Angel de la Fuente & Antonio Ciccone, 2003. "Human capital in a global and knowledge-based economy," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 562.03, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    5. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Wirz, Aniela, 2002. "Public Funding and Enrolment into Higher Education in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 503, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Friedrich Schneider & Alexander F. Wagner, 2003. "Tradeable permits - Ten key design issues," Economics working papers 2003-04, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    7. Oosterbeek, Hessel & van den Broek, Anja, 2009. "An empirical analysis of borrowing behaviour of higher education students in the Netherlands," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 170-177, April.
    8. Stefanescu, Razvan & Dumitriu, Ramona & Nistor, Costel, 2011. "Motivations for the Bessarabian youth to study in Romanian universities," MPRA Paper 41621, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 02 Oct 2011.
    9. Michael Neugart & Jan Tuinstra, 2003. "Endogenous fluctuations in the demand for education," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 29-51, February.
    10. Anchor, John R. & Fiserová, Jana & Mars[iota]ková, Katerina & Urbánek, Václav, 2011. "Student expectations of the financial returns to higher education in the Czech Republic and England: Evidence from business schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 673-681, August.
    11. Neugart, Michael & Schömann, Klaus, 2002. "Employment outlooks: Why forecast the labour market and for whom?," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment FS I 02-206, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    12. Friedrich Schneider & Alexander F. Wagner & Mathias Dufour, 2003. "Satisfaction not guaranteed-Institutions and satisfaction with democracy in Western Europe," Economics working papers 2003-03, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    13. Wolter, Stefan C. & Zbinden, André, 2001. "Rates of Return to Education: The View of Students in Switzerland," IZA Discussion Papers 371, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Julia Varga, 2006. "The Role of Labour Market Expectations and Admission Probabilities in Students' Application Decisions on Higher Education: The Case of Hungary," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 309-327.
    15. Filippin, Antonio & Ichino, Andrea, 2005. "Gender wage gap in expectations and realizations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 125-145, February.
    16. Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2008. "Residential Peer Effects in Higher Education: Does the Field of Study Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 3277, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Zsuzsanna Veroszta, 2014. "Patterns of students' earning orientations and expectations," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 0201473, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    18. Friedrich Schneider & Kausik Chaudhuri & Sumana Chatterjee, 2003. "The Size and Development of the Indian Shadow Economy and a Comparison with other 18 Asian Countries: An Empirical Investigation," Economics working papers 2003-02, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    19. Krzysztof Kalisiak & Małgorzata Szreder & Kaja Białowąs, 2011. "Finansowy i niefinansowy zwrot z edukacji," Gospodarka Narodowa. The Polish Journal of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, issue 9, pages 77-102.
    20. Daniele Checchi, 2003. "The Italian educational system: family background and social stratification," Departmental Working Papers 2003-01, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Expectations Formation; Information Processing; Returns to Education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General

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