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Time-to-Degree and the Business Cycle

  • Messer, Dolores

    ()

    (University of Bern)

  • Wolter, Stefan C.

    ()

    (University of Bern)

When students themselves enjoy large degrees of freedom in determining the duration of their studies, it results in a fairly large degree of interindividual variance in terms of time-to-degree. This paper investigates individual time-to-degree in a model where students determine the optimum time-to-degree whilst weighing up the cost against the consumption benefit accruing from an additional semester of studies. According to this model, the cost level and consumption benefit depend, in turn, on the general economic environment during the study period. An empirical investigation using a data set based on Swiss university graduates from 1981 to 2001 shows that changes in the unemployment rate, real interest rate, wage levels, and economic growth have a significant impact on individual time-to-degree. These results are consistent with the conclusions derived from the theoretical model.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2787.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2787
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  1. Giorgio Brunello & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2002. "Why Do Students Expect to Stay Longer in College? Evidence from Europe," Economics working papers 2002-10, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. Harris Dellas & Plutarchos Sakellaris, 2003. "On the cyclicality of schooling: theory and evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 148-172, January.
  3. Dellas, Harris & Koubi, Vally, 2003. "Business cycles and schooling," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 843-859, November.
  4. Messer, Dolores & Wolter, Stefan C., 2005. "Are Student Exchange Programs Worth It?," IZA Discussion Papers 1656, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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