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The Impact of Degree Class on the First Destinations of Graduates: A Regression Discontinuity Approach

Author

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  • Di Pietro, Giorgio

    () (University of Westminster)

Abstract

This paper uses a regression-discontinuity design to identify the causal impact of degree class on the first destinations of UK graduates. We exploit the discontinuous relationship between degree class and the mean grade achieved by graduates in their last year at university, which is induced by the administrative rules used for the determination of degree class. More specifically, we compare the average first-destination outcome of graduates with a mean grade that just allowed them to get a given class of degree with the average first-destination outcome of those with a mean grade that made them just miss the chance of achieving the same class of degree. Our empirical analysis focuses on graduates who graduated from a post-1992 university in the period January-July 2008. The results are consistent with the view that degree class does not truly affect the first destinations of graduates, but it picks up the effect of other ability indicators that are typically not observed by researchers. Hence this finding questions the signaling role of degree class.

Suggested Citation

  • Di Pietro, Giorgio, 2010. "The Impact of Degree Class on the First Destinations of Graduates: A Regression Discontinuity Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 4836, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4836
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Feng, Andy & Graetz, Georg, 2017. "A question of degree: The effects of degree class on labor market outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 140-161.
    2. Freier, Ronny & Schumann, Mathias & Siedler, Thomas, 2015. "The earnings returns to graduating with honors — Evidence from law graduates," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 39-50.
    3. Sergey Roshchin & Victor Rudakov, 2015. "Do Starting Salaries for Graduates Measure the Quality of Education? A Review of Studies by Russian and Foreign Authors," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 1, pages 137-181.
    4. Schumann, Mathias & Freier, Ronny & Siedler, Thomas, 2014. "The Economic Returns to Graduating with Honors - Evidence from Law Graduates," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100338, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Robin Naylor & Jeremy Smith & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2016. "Graduate returns, degree class premia and higher education expansion in the UK," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 525-545.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    first destinations of graduates; regression discontinuity design; degree classification;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand

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