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Wage Differentials by Field of Study – The Case of German University Graduates

  • Katja Görlitz
  • Barbara S. Grave

    ()

Using data on German university graduates, this paper analyzes wage differentials by field of study at labor market entry and five to six years later. At both points in time, graduates from Arts and Humanities have lower average monthly wages compared to other fields of study. Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions show that these wage differentials are generated largely by different job and firm characteristics of graduates rather than individual or study-related characteristics. We also find evidence that the less favorable job and firm characteristics of Arts and Humanities graduates at labor market entry persist for (at least) the next five to six years.

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File URL: http://repec.rwi-essen.de/files/REP_12_316.pdf
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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0316.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0316
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  7. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2004. "Ability sorting and the returns to college major," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 343-375.
  8. 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.
  9. Audrey Light & Wayne Strayer, 2003. "Who Receives the College Wage Premium? Assessing the Labor Market Returns to Degrees and College Transfer Patterns," Working Papers 03-02, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
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  11. Nils Braakmann, 2008. "Non scholae, sed vitae discimus! - The importance of fields of study for the gender wage gap among German university graduates during labor market entry and the first years of their careers," Working Paper Series in Economics 85, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  12. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Kane, Thomas J & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 1995. "Labor-Market Returns to Two- and Four-Year College," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 600-614, June.
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  15. V. Joseph Hotz & Lixin Xu & Marta Tienda & Avner Ahituv, 1999. "Are There Returns to the Wages of Young Men from Working While in School?," NBER Working Papers 7289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Paglin, Morton & Rufolo, Anthony M, 1990. "Heterogeneous Human Capital, Occupational Choice, and Male-Female Earnings Differences," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 123-44, January.
  17. Jeff Grogger & Eric Eide, 1995. "Changes in College Skills and the Rise in the College Wage Premium," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(2), pages 280-310.
  18. Juerg Schweri, 2004. "Does it pay to be a good student? Results from the Swiss graduate labour market," Diskussionsschriften dp0405, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  19. Dominic J. Brewer & Eric R. Eide & Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1999. "Does It Pay to Attend an Elite Private College? Cross-Cohort Evidence on the Effects of College Type on Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 104-123.
  20. Henry S. Farber & Robert Gibbons, 1996. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1007-1047.
  21. Mark C. Berger, 1988. "Predicted Future Earnings and Choice of College Major," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(3), pages 418-429, April.
  22. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-479.
  23. Thomas J. Kane & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 1999. "The Community College: Educating Students at the Margin between College and Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 63-84, Winter.
  24. Long, Mark C., 2008. "College quality and early adult outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 588-602, October.
  25. Jaeger, David A & Page, Marianne E, 1996. "Degrees Matter: New Evidence on Sheepskin Effects in the Returns to Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 733-40, November.
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