Einkommensdifferenziale zwischen Bachelor- und Diplomabsolventen - Humankapital oder Signal?
Descriptive statistics show that a wage differential between graduates of the newly introduced bachelor programme and those of the traditional so called diplom programme of 7200 EUR per anno exists (Briedis/Minks 2005b). How can we explain this gap? Economic theory offers two contrary theories: human capital and signalling. Both theories claim a positive correlation of education and earnings. However, the theo- ries differ concerning the causal effect of this relationship. In order to determine which theory better explains the observed wage gap, we use the so-called Bologna-Reform (the process of restructuring from diplom- to bachelor-graduates) as a quasi- experimental setting. Our study shows that signalling effects are dominant when ex- amining tertiary education in Germany.
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