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Labour participation of higher education students


  • Jean Luc De Meulemeester
  • Denis Rochat


The aim of this article is to shed light on the determinants of the decision to participate in the labour force while studying, and of the intensity of this participation as measured by the wages earned by students. We show that students react to their future expected economic benefits associated with their chosen course of study. In this sense, our results confirm Lévy-Garboua’s (Revue française de Sociologie XVII: 53–80, 1976) thesis of working as an adjustment variable for the variations in the expected rate of return of discipline. Our results indicate that the decision to work while studying and its intensity depend on students’ socioeconomic status and material needs, as well as external financial resources. Altogether, our results suggest that the equity and internal efficiency implications of such a social bias in the labour force participation behaviour might not be too important, but that some public interventions might nevertheless improve the overall external efficiency by allowing students to spend more time on more valorizing activities rather than unskilled and low-paid jobs.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean Luc De Meulemeester & Denis Rochat, 2000. "Labour participation of higher education students," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/1567, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/1567
    Note: FLWIN

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    Cited by:

    1. Magali Jaoul-Grammare, 2007. "Stratégie des étudiants et choix d’orientation: Une analyse expérimentale de l’engorgement," Working Papers 07-06, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
    2. Claude Diebolt & Magali Jaoul-Grammare, 2016. "Cliométrie de l’enseignement supérieur : une analyse expérimentale de la théorie de l’engorgement," Working Papers 02-16, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).

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