University Prestige and Choice of Major Field: Evidence from South Korea
Unlike previous studies on major choice of university students, this study considers a university's prestige in their choice of a major field. This study sets up an estimation model for a joint decision about where to go to university (prestigious or non-prestigious) and what major field to concentrate. The empirical model is applied to the major-choice patterns of 4-year university students in South Korea between 1981 and 2001. The study finds that a university's prestige has a significant impact on their choice of a major field of university study. When the major-choice patterns are associated with measures of future labor-market outcomes, the probability of large-firm employment (rather than the stream of future earnings) after graduation is found to play a more important role in the decisions of a major field in South Korea
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