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Earnings and Community College Field of Study Choice in Canada

  • Boudarbat, Brahim

    ()

    (University of Montreal)

In this paper, we estimate a structural model of choice of field of study by community college students. We use data from the Canadian Survey of Graduates for 12,871 individuals who successfully completed their programs in Canadian community colleges (CEGEPs in Quebec) in 1990 and 1995. Over this period, the returns to fields such as health declined relative to other fields such as science and engineering, a fact that provides useful leverage for identifying the impact of earnings on the choice of field of study. Results indicate that the probability of selecting a specific college field of study depends significantly on expected earnings in this field relative to other fields. We also find that women put less weight on earnings than men when choosing a field of study and those students who were employed prior to starting college are more sensitive to earnings variations across fields of study than students with no prior work experience.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1156.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: May 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics of Education Review, 2008, 27 (1), 79-93
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1156
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  1. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1997. "The Career Decisions of Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 473-522, June.
  2. Julian R. Betts & Laurel L. McFarland, 1995. "Safe Port in a Storm: The Impact of Labor Market Conditions on Community College Enrollments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 741-765.
  3. Montmarquette, C. & Cannings, C. & Mahseredjian,S., 1997. "How do Young People Choose College Majors?," Cahiers de recherche 9719, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
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  6. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1978. "Unionism and Wage Rates: A Simultaneous Equations Model with Qualitative and Limited Dependent Variables," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(2), pages 415-33, June.
  7. Solomon William Polachek, 1978. "Sex differences in college major," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 31(4), pages 498-508, July.
  8. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-60, September.
  9. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-12, March.
  10. Blakemore, Arthur E & Low, Stuart A, 1984. "Sex Differences in Occupational Selection: The Case of College Majors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 157-63, February.
  11. Weiss, Yoram, 1971. "Investment in Graduate Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(5), pages 833-52, December.
  12. Sarah E. Turner & William G. Bowen, 1999. "Choice of major: The changing (unchanging) gender gap," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(2), pages 289-313, January.
  13. Lee, Lung-fei & Maddala, G S & Trost, R P, 1980. "Asymptotic Covariance Matrices of Two-Stage Probit and Two-Stage Tobit Methods for Simultaneous Equations Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(2), pages 491-503, March.
  14. Francois Vaillancourt, 1995. "The Private and Total Returns to Education in Canada, 1985," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 28(3), pages 532-54, August.
  15. Thomas N. Daymonti & Paul J. Andrisani, 1984. "Job Preferences, College Major, and the Gender Gap in Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(3), pages 408-428.
  16. Montmarquette, Claude & Mourji, Fouzi & Mahseredjian, Sophie, 1998. "Les choix de filières universitaires par les lycéens marocains : préférences et contraintes," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 74(3), pages 485-522, septembre.
  17. François Bourguignon & Martin Fournier & Marc Gurgand, 2002. "Selection Bias Correction Based on the Multinomial Logit Model," Working Papers 2002-04, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  18. David A. Dodge & David A. A. Stager, 1972. "Economic Returns to Graduate Study in Science, Engineering and Business," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 5(2), pages 182-98, May.
  19. James V. Koch, 1972. "Student choice of undergraduate major field of study and private internal rates of return," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 26(1), pages 680-685, October.
  20. Kane, Thomas J, 1994. "College Entry by Blacks since 1970: The Role of College Costs, Family Background, and the Returns to Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 878-911, October.
  21. 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.
  22. 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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