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Einkommensdifferenziale zwischen Bachelor- und Diplomabsolventen - Humankapital oder Signal?

  • Verena Dill
  • Anke Hammen

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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Paper provided by University of Trier, Department of Economics in its series Research Papers in Economics with number 2011-04.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:trr:wpaper:201104
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  1. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1973. "The Theory of 'Screening', Education, and the Distribution of Income," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 354, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Chevalier, Arnaud & Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian & Zhu, Yu, 2003. "Does Education Raise Productivity or Just Reflect It?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3993, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1977. "Education and Screening," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 949-58, December.
  4. Juerg Schweri, 2004. "Does it pay to be a good student? Results from the Swiss graduate labour market," Diskussionsschriften dp0405, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  5. Ulla Hämäläinen & Roope Uusitalo, 2008. "Signalling or Human Capital: Evidence from the Finnish Polytechnic School Reform," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 755-775, December.
  6. Riley, John G, 1979. "Testing the Educational Screening Hypothesis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S227-52, October.
  7. Garibaldi, Pietro, 2006. "Personnel Economics in Imperfect Labour Markets," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199280674.
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