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Earning While Learning: Labor Market Returns to Student Employment During Tertiary Education

  • Regula Geel

    ()

    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

  • Uschi Backes-Gellner

    ()

    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

We examine how different student employment statuses during tertiary education affect short-term and medium-term labor market returns. We focus on differences between students studying full-time and students studying and working part-time, i.e., ‘earning while learning’. In addition, we distinguish between student employment with and without relation to the study. Using a representative survey of Swiss graduates of tertiary education, we find significant positive labor market returns of ’earning while learning‘, but only for related student employment and not for unrelated student employment. The returns come in the form of lower unemployment risk, shorter job search duration, higher wage effects and greater responsibility. Therefore, student employment with a relation to the study is a complement to formal education and augments skills and knowledge.

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File URL: http://repec.business.uzh.ch/RePEc/iso/leadinghouse/0049_lhwpaper.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU) in its series Economics of Education Working Paper Series with number 0049.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0049
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  1. Christian Dustmann & John Mickelwright & Najma Rajah & Stephen Smith, 1996. "Earning and learning: educational policy and the growth of part-time work by full-time pupils," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 17(1), pages 79-103, February.
  2. Ilias Livanos & Konstantinos Pouliakas, 2011. "Wage returns to university disciplines in Greece: are Greek higher education degrees Trojan Horses?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 411-445, December.
  3. Dearden, Lorraine, et al, 2002. "The Returns to Academic and Vocational Qualifications in Britain," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 249-74, July.
  4. Dustmann, C. & Rajah, N. & van Soest, A.H.O., 1996. "Part-Time Work, School Success and School Leaving," Discussion Paper 1996-43, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  5. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1973. "The Theory of 'Screening', Education, and the Distribution of Income," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 354, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Häkkinen, Iida, 2004. "Working while enrolled in a university: Does it pay?," Working Paper Series 2004:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  7. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1997. "Is High School Employment Consumption or Investment?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(4), pages 735-76, October.
  8. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  9. V. Joseph Hotz & Lixin Xu & Marta Tienda & Avner Ahituv, 1999. "Are There Returns to the Wages of Young Men from Working While in School?," NBER Working Papers 7289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Blackburn, McKinley L & Neumark, David, 1993. "Omitted-Ability Bias and the Increase in the Return to Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 521-44, July.
  11. Jeffrey S. DeSimone, 2008. "The Impact of Employment during School on College Student Academic Performance," NBER Working Papers 14006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Light, Audrey, 2001. "In-School Work Experience and the Returns to Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(1), pages 65-93, January.
  13. Simone Tuor & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2008. "Risk-Return Trade-Offs to Complete Educational Paths: Vocational, Academic and Mixed," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0031, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
  14. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Daniel R. Sherman, 1987. "Employment While in College, Academic Achievement, and Postcollege Outcomes: A Summary of Results," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(1), pages 1-23.
  15. Juerg Schweri, 2004. "Does it pay to be a good student? Results from the Swiss graduate labour market," Diskussionsschriften dp0405, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  16. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  17. Livanos, Ilias & Pouliakas, Konstantinos, 2008. "Returns to education by academic discipline in the Greek labour market," MPRA Paper 14159, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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