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Fields of study and graduates’ occupational outcomes in Italy during the 90s. Who won and who lost?

Author

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  • Gabriele BALLARINO

    ()

  • Massimiliano BRATTI

    ()

Abstract

Research on the transition from school to work is increasingly focusing on the horizontal stratification of educational systems, that is on how different educational tracks have an effect on students’ occupational chances. In the case of tertiary education, this means analyzing how different fields of study (faculties) make a difference in this transition, and how this difference varies in time. This paper studies how recent economic and social changes affected the role of undergraduate field of study in Italy. Two contrasting hypotheses are considered. The first one comes from the economic literature on “skill-biased technological change” and suggests that contemporary societies should give a premium to scientific and technical degrees, because of increasing competition in technological innovation. The second one, based on sociological theories of the “information economy”, suggests that contemporary societies should give a premium to academic degrees because of the increasing economic role of general, social and relational skills. Data come from four surveys of university graduates’ occupational careers that the Italian National Statistical Institute (Istat) has conducted from 1995 to 2004. By means of multivariate analyses of the quality of the occupational transitions, the paper will state how the effect of different fields of study on the transition has changed, and which one of the two contrasting hypotheses is better suited to account for this change

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriele BALLARINO & Massimiliano BRATTI, 2006. "Fields of study and graduates’ occupational outcomes in Italy during the 90s. Who won and who lost?," Departmental Working Papers 2006-17, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2006-17
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    File URL: http://wp.demm.unimi.it/files/wp/2006/DEMM-2006_017wp.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Massimiliano Bratti & Nicola Matteucci, 2005. "Is there skilled-biased technological change in Italian manufacturing? Evidence from firm-level data," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 48(1-2), pages 153-182.
    2. Daniele Checchi, 2002. "Formazione e percorsi lavorativi dei laureati dell'Università degli Studi di Milano," Departmental Working Papers 2002-14, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    3. L. Biggeri & M. Bini & L. Grilli, 2001. "The transition from university to work: a multilevel approach to the analysis of the time to obtain the first job," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 164(2), pages 293-305.
    4. Massimiliano Bratti & Abigail McKnight & Robin Naylor & Jeremy Smith, 2004. "Higher education outcomes, graduate employment and university performance indicators," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 167(3), pages 475-496.
    5. Lorenzo Cappellari, 2004. "High school types, academic performance and early labour market outcomes," CHILD Working Papers wp03_04, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
    6. Paolo Barbieri & Stefani Scherer, 2005. "Le conseguenze sociali della flessibilizzazione del mercato del lavoro in Italia," Stato e mercato, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 291-322.
    7. Bratti, Massimiliano & Checchi, Daniele & Filippin, Antonio, 2007. "Territorial Differences in Italian Students’ Mathematical Competencies: Evidence from PISA 2003," IZA Discussion Papers 2603, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Giorgio Brunello & Claudio Lucifora & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2004. "The Wage Expectations of European Business and Economics Students," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(4).
    9. Brunello, Giorgio & Cappellari, Lorenzo, 2008. "The labour market effects of Alma Mater: Evidence from Italy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 564-574, October.
    10. Daniele CHECCHI & Stefano Maria IACUS & Giuseppe PORRO, 2004. "Formazione e percorsi lavorativi dei laureati dell'Università degli Studi di Milano (IIa edizione: laureati 1999)," Departmental Working Papers 2004-04, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    11. Thomas N. Daymonti & Paul J. Andrisani, 1984. "Job Preferences, College Major, and the Gender Gap in Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 19(3), pages 408-428.
    12. Smith, Jeremy & McKnight, Abigail & Naylor, Robin, 2000. "Graduate Employability: Policy and Performance in Higher Education in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(464), pages 382-411, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paolo Buonanno & Dario Pozzoli, 2009. "Early Labour Market Returns to College Subject," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 23(4), pages 559-588, December.
    2. Maestri, Virginia, 2013. "Promoting scientific faculties: Does it work? Evidence from Italy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 168-180.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employment; Field of study; Graduates; Italy;

    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

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