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The Early Labour Market Effects of Generally and Vocationally Oriented Higher Education: Is There a Trade-off?

Author

Listed:
  • Verhaest, Dieter

    (KU Leuven)

  • Baert, Stijn

    (Ghent University)

Abstract

This study investigates whether the choice for a vocationally versus a generally oriented higher education program entails a trade-off between higher employment chances and better matches at the start of the career (when opting for a vocational orientation) and a lower risk of bad match persistence later on (when opting for a general orientation). We rely on detailed early career spell data of Flemish graduates and assess the vocational orientation of their program by means of the presence of curriculum-based work placement. We model the program choice (vocationally versus generally oriented), the transition to a good match and the preceding transition to a bad match simultaneously. To account for non-random selection into vocational programs and into bad matches, the Timing of Events method is combined with an exclusion restriction. After accounting for unobserved heterogeneity, we do not find any evidence for a trade-off early in the career. This result contributes to the debate about the efficiency of vocationalising tertiary education programs through the implementation of work placement.

Suggested Citation

  • Verhaest, Dieter & Baert, Stijn, 2015. "The Early Labour Market Effects of Generally and Vocationally Oriented Higher Education: Is There a Trade-off?," IZA Discussion Papers 9137, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9137
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Brunello, Giorgio & Rocco, Lorenzo, 2015. "The Labour Market Effects of Academic and Vocational Education over the Life Cycle: Evidence from Two British Cohorts," IZA Discussion Papers 9275, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Juan Acosta-Ballesteros & María del Pilar Osorno-del Rosal & Olga María Rodríguez-Rodríguez, 2018. "Overeducation of Young Workers in Spain: How Much Does the First Job Matter? Social Indicators Research," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 138(1), pages 109-139, July.
    4. Zilic, Ivan, 2018. "General versus vocational education: Lessons from a quasi-experiment in Croatia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1-11.
    5. Marwa Sahnoun & Chokri Abdennadher, 2022. "Returns to Investment in Education in the OECD Countries: Does Governance Quality Matter?," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 13(3), pages 1819-1842, September.
    6. Giorgio Brunello & Lorenzo Rocco, 2017. "The Labor Market Effects of Academic and Vocational Education over the Life Cycle: Evidence Based on a British Cohort," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 106-166.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    underemployment; vocational education; work placement; academisation; mismatch; overeducation;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies

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