IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp2552.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Choice of Fields of Study of Canadian University Graduates: The Role of Gender and their Parents’ Education

Author

Listed:
  • Boudarbat, Brahim

    () (University of Montreal)

  • Montmarquette, Claude

    () (University of Montreal)

Abstract

This paper examines the determinants of the choice of field of study by university students using data from the Canadian National Graduate Survey. The sample of 18,708 graduates holding a Bachelor degree is interesting in itself knowing that these students completed their study and thus represent a pool of high quality individuals. What impact expected post-graduation lifetime earnings have in choosing their field of study respectively to their non pecuniary preferences? Are these individuals less or more influenced by monetary incentives on their decision than was found in previous literature with samples of university students not all completing their studies successfully? Unlike existing studies, we account for the probability that students will be able to find employment related to their field of study when evaluating lifetime earnings after graduation. The parameters that drive students’ choices of fields of study are estimated using a mixed multinomial logit model applied to seven broadly defined fields. Results indicate that the weight put by a student on initial earnings and earnings’ rate of growth earnings depends upon the education level of the parent of the same gender. Surprisingly, lifetime earnings have no statistically significant impact when the parent of the same gender as the student has a university education. Results show that men are, in general, more sensitive than women to initial income variations, whilst women are more sensitive than men to the earnings’ rate of growth variations. Marital status, enrolment status and the vocation identified with each field of study are influential factors in students’ choices. From a policy perspective, a substantial increase in lifetime earnings, while all other factors remain constant, would be necessary to draw students into fields of study they are not inclined to choose initially.

Suggested Citation

  • Boudarbat, Brahim & Montmarquette, Claude, 2007. "Choice of Fields of Study of Canadian University Graduates: The Role of Gender and their Parents’ Education," IZA Discussion Papers 2552, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2552
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp2552.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 7-36, October.
    2. Paglin, Morton & Rufolo, Anthony M, 1990. "Heterogeneous Human Capital, Occupational Choice, and Male-Female Earnings Differences," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 123-144, January.
    3. 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 157-163, February.
    4. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2004. "Ability sorting and the returns to college major," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 343-375.
    5. Borghans, Lex & Groot, Loek, 1999. "Educational presorting and occupational segregation," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 375-395, September.
    6. Montmarquette, Claude & Cannings, Kathy & Mahseredjian, Sophie, 2002. "How do young people choose college majors?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 543-556, December.
    7. 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 415-433, June.
    8. 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.
    9. Lee, Lung-Fei, 1983. "Generalized Econometric Models with Selectivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(2), pages 507-512, March.
    10. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Ismael Mourifie & Marc Henry & Romuald Meango, 2017. "Sharp bounds for the Roy model," Papers 1709.09284, arXiv.org.
    2. Tacsir, Ezequiel, 2010. "Occupation Choice: Family, Social and Market Influences," MERIT Working Papers 013, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Aleksander Kucel & Montserrat Vilalta-Bufi, 2012. "Why do university graduates regret their study program? A comparison between Spain and the Netherlands," Working Papers in Economics 279, Universitat de Barcelona. Espai de Recerca en Economia.
    4. Freeman, James A. & Hirsch, Barry T., 2008. "College majors and the knowledge content of jobs," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 517-535, October.
    5. Heather Antecol & Deborah Cobb-Clark, 2010. "Do Non-cognitive Skills Help Explain the Occupational Segregation of Young People?," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2010n13, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    6. Magali Beffy & Denis Fougère & Arnaud Maurel, 2012. "Choosing the Field of Study in Postsecondary Education: Do Expected Earnings Matter?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(1), pages 334-347, February.
    7. Maestri, Virginia, 2013. "Promoting scientific faculties: Does it work? Evidence from Italy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 168-180.
    8. Cortes, Patricia & Pan, Jessica, 2017. "Occupation and Gender," IZA Discussion Papers 10672, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Ashok Bardhan & Daniel L. Hicks & Dwight Jaffee, 2013. "How responsive is higher education? The linkages between higher education and the labour market," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(10), pages 1239-1256, April.
    10. Long, Mark C. & Goldhaber, Dan & Huntington-Klein, Nick, 2015. "Do completed college majors respond to changes in wages?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 1-14.
    11. Tuomo Suhonen, 2012. "The role of distances and parents’ educational background in university field of study choice," ERSA conference papers ersa12p751, European Regional Science Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Canada; university fields of study; expected lifetime earnings; mixed multinomial logit model; parents’ education;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2552. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.