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Is there a Hidden Technical Potential?

Listed author(s):
  • Hessel Oosterbeek

    ()

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Dinand Webbink

    ()

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

This paper analyzes the determinants of choosing a technical study at university level and of persistence in it. We find that - in the Netherlands - there is a low correlation between the probability of a student choosing a technical study and the probability of persistence in it. This implies that a substantial number of technically talented people choose non-technicalstudies. Especially female students and students from high income families are unlikely to attend a technical study but these students are relatively successful in such studies. A large fraction of these technically talented students are attracted to medical studies and law schools, where they are no more likely to persist in these schools than other medical and lawstudents. This finding is predicted by the tournament model in which rewards are based on relative performance instead of absolute performance. This discussion paper has resulted in a publication in De Economist 145(2), 159-77.

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Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 97-012/3.

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Date of creation: 28 Jan 1997
Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:19970012
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  1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
  2. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 7-36, October.
  3. Gary A. Zarkin, 1985. "Occupational Choice: An Application to the Market for Public School Teachers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(2), pages 409-446.
  4. Kenny, Lawrence W, et al, 1979. "Returns to College Education: An Investigation of Self-Selection Bias Based on the Project Talent Data," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(3), pages 775-789, October.
  5. Colm Harmon; & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of Economic Return to Schooling in the UK," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n540195, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  6. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters,in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Rosen, Sherwin, 1992. "The Market for Lawyers," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(2), pages 215-246, October.
  8. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-530.
  9. Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 1995. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling for the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1278-1286, December.
  10. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, Enero-Jun.
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  12. Freeman, Richard B, 1975. "Legal "Cobwebs": A Recursive Model of the Market for New Lawyers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 57(2), pages 171-179, May.
  13. Van de Ven, Wynand P. M. M. & Van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1981. "The demand for deductibles in private health insurance : A probit model with sample selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 229-252, November.
  14. 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.
  15. Trost, Robert P & Lee, Lung-Fei, 1984. "Technical Training and Earnings: A Polychotomous Choice Model with Selectivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 151-156, February.
  16. Venti, Steven F. & Wise, David A., 1983. "Individual attributes and self-selection of higher education : College attendance versus college completion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-32, June.
  17. Garen, John, 1984. "The Returns to Schooling: A Selectivity Bias Approach with a Continuous Choice Variable," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(5), pages 1199-1218, September.
  18. Harmon, Harmon & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for the UK," IFS Working Papers W95/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  19. Manski, Charles F & Lerman, Steven R, 1977. "The Estimation of Choice Probabilities from Choice Based Samples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(8), pages 1977-1988, November.
  20. Hartog, Joop & Pfann, Gerard & Ridder, Geert, 1989. "(Non-)graduation and the earnings function : An inquiry on self-selection," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1373-1395, September.
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