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The Role of Labour Market Expectations and Admission Probabilities in Students' Application Decisions on Higher Education: the case of Hungary

  • Julia Varga

    ()

    (Institute of Economics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

This paper analyses the effects of labour market expectations and admission probabilities on students' application strategies to higher education. The starting hypothesis of this study is that students consider the expected utility of their choices, a function of expected net lifetime earnings and the probability of admission. Based on a survey carried out among Hungarian secondary school students, three aspects of application decisions are investigated: the number of applications; the institutions/ field specialisation ranked first and last in students' choices; and the selection between state-funded and cost-priced education. The results of this paper confirm that both expected wages and admission probabilities determine students' application strategies and that the seemingly irrational student preferences for institutions/orientations with less favourable labour market opportunities might be the result of a rational decision process.

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File URL: http://www.econ.core.hu/doc/bwp/bwp/bwp0308.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market with number 0308.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:has:bworkp:0308
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  1. Kathy Cannings & Sophie Mahseredjian & Claude Montmarquette, 1997. "How Do Young People Choose College Majors ?," CIRANO Working Papers 97s-38, CIRANO.
  2. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-26.
  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. Wolter, Stefan C, 2000. "Wage Expectations: A Comparison of Swiss and US Students," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 51-69.
  5. Julian R. Betts, 1996. "What Do Students Know about Wages? Evidence from a Survey of Undergraduates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 27-56.
  6. Arnaud Chevalier & Gavan Conlon, 2003. "Does it pay to attend a prestigious university?," Working Papers 200320, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  7. Rochat, Denis & Demeulemeester, Jean-Luc, 2001. "Rational choice under unequal constraints: the example of Belgian higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 15-26, February.
  8. 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.
  9. Mark C. Berger, 1988. "Predicted future earnings and choice of college major," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(3), pages 418-429, April.
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