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Schooling effects and earnings of French University graduates: school quality matters, but choice of discipline matters more


  • Jean-François Giret

    () (IREDU - Institut de recherche sur l'éducation : Sociologie et Economie de l'Education - UB - Université de Bourgogne, CEREQ - Centre d'études et de recherches sur les qualifications - ministère de l'Emploi, cohésion sociale et logement - M.E.N.E.S.R. - Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche)

  • Mathieu Goudard

    () (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)


Our aim in this article is to study the relation between earnings of French universities graduates and some characteristics of their universities. We exploit data from the Céreq's "Génération 98" survey, enriched with information on university characteristics primarily from the ANETES (yearbook of French institutions of higher education). We employ multilevel modeling, enabling us to take advantage of the natural hierarchy in our separate datasets, and thus to identify, and even to measure potential effects of institutional quality. Since we take into account many individual students characteristics, we are able to obtain an income hierarchy among the different disciplines : students who graduated in science, economics or management obtain the highest earnings. Below them, we and students who graduated in law, political science, communication or language and literature, while the ones who graduated in social studies earn the lowest incomes. On the institutional level, we need two significant quality effects : the rest is from the socioeconomic composition of the university's student population, and the second effect is from the university's network in the job market. These last two results remain stable when we examine subsamples of universities according to their dominant teaching fields, except for universities that are particularly concentrated in science.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-François Giret & Mathieu Goudard, 2010. "Schooling effects and earnings of French University graduates: school quality matters, but choice of discipline matters more," Working Papers halshs-00480289, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00480289
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    Cited by:

    1. Lehouelleur, Sophie & Beblavý, Miroslav & Maselli,Ilaria, 2015. "How returns from tertiary education differ by field of study: Implications for policy-makers and students," CEPS Papers 10835, Centre for European Policy Studies.

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    school choice; Demand for schooling; educational economics; human capital; salaries wage differentials;

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