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Does time-to-degree matter? The effect of delayed graduation on employment and wages

  • Giorgia Casalone

    ()

    (University of Piemonte Orientale A. Avogadro)

  • Carmen Aina

    (University of Piemonte Orientale A. Avogadro)

We use a sample of Italian graduates drawn from the Consorzio AlmaLaurea to study whether the time taken to attain a degree matters for employment and earnings after one, three and five years from graduation. The relevance of this topic arises from the observation that Italian tertiary education system is characterized by an average time to undergraduate degree that is longer than the prescribed period. In addition, this issue is important also because delay in college completion entails a waste of resources both at individual and at collective level, and deprives the economics system of new and up-to-date competencies, as graduates enter the labour market with partially obsolete skills. Our estimates highlight that the probability of finding a job is negatively related to the time taken to graduate only if such delay is greater than three years. Graduates with previous work experiences, then, take on average two months less to be employed and receive higher wages. We also find evidence that students who obtain a degree beyond the minimum period suffer a wage penalty not while entering the labour market, but in the subsequent years (especially 5 years after graduation). This finding suggests that time-to-degree along with work experiences are good proxies for employers to discriminate between the ability of graduates.

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File URL: http://www2.almalaurea.it/universita/pubblicazioni/wp/pdf/wp38.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium in its series Working Papers with number 38.

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Length: 21
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:laa:wpaper:38
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.almalaurea.it

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  1. Häkkinen, Iida, 2004. "Working while enrolled in a university: Does it pay?," Working Paper Series 2004:1, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  2. Paolo Buonanno & Dario Pozzoli, 2007. "Early Labour Market Returns to College Subject," Working Papers (-2012) 0705, University of Bergamo, Department of Economics.
  3. Matthias Parey & Fabian Waldinger, 2007. "Studying Abroad and the Effect on International Labor Market Mobility: Evidence from the Introduction of Erasmus," CEE Discussion Papers 0086, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  4. Pietro Garibaldi & Francesco Giavazzi & Andrea Ichino & Enrico Rettore, 2012. "College Cost and Time to Complete a Degree: Evidence from Tuition Discontinuities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 699-711, August.
  5. Blundell, Richard, et al, 2000. "The Returns to Higher Education in Britain: Evidence from a British Cohort," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(461), pages F82-99, February.
  6. Hessel Oosterbeek & Dinand Webbink, 2011. "Does Studying Abroad Induce a Brain Drain?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 78(310), pages 347-366, 04.
  7. Brunello, Giorgio & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "Why do students expect to stay longer in college? Evidence from Europe," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 247-253, August.
  8. John Bound & Michael F. Lovenheim & Sarah Turner, 2010. "Increasing Time to Baccalaureate Degree in the United States," NBER Working Papers 15892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Brodaty, Thomas & Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Prieto, Ana, 2008. "Does Speed Signal Ability? The Impact of Grade Repetitions on Employment and Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 6832, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Linda Datcher Loury, 1997. "The gender gap among college-educated workers," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(4), pages 580-593, July.
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