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Cohort Effects in Annual Earnings by Field of Study Among British Columbia University Graduates

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  • Heisz, Andrew

Abstract

Using a dataset which combines the 1982-1997 tax records and administrative records of British Columbia bachelor's graduates from the classes of 1974-1996, this study examine the real annual earnings of graduates across 20 major fields of study for significant changes in earnings across cohorts. Male graduates in more recent cohorts had lower mean earnings after graduation but higher returns to experience. Recent cohorts of women graduates had equal earnings levels after graduation and higher returns to experience. Mean earnings differed among fields of study, favouring applied degrees in teacher training, commerce, engineering, nursing and medical sciences, but cohort effects were statistically identical for graduates from all fields of study. These results show no evidence of a major change in earnings consistent with a decline in returns to a university education, or a shift in demand favouring specific degrees.

Suggested Citation

  • Heisz, Andrew, 2003. "Cohort Effects in Annual Earnings by Field of Study Among British Columbia University Graduates," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003200e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  • Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp3e:2003200e
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dan A. Black & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 2003. "The Economic Reward for Studying Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 365-377, July.
    2. Steven J. Davis, 1992. "Cross-Country Patterns of Change in Relative Wages," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 239-300 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kevin M. Murphy & W. Craig Riddell & Paul M. Romer, 1998. "Wages, Skills, and Technology in the United States and Canada," NBER Working Papers 6638, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Paul Beaudry & David A. Green, 2000. "Cohort patterns in Canadian earnings: assessing the role of skill premia in inequality trends," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(4), pages 907-936, November.
    5. Heisz, Andrew, 2001. "Income Prospects of British Columbia University Graduates," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2001170e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    6. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
    7. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
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