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Making your own future: Expectations and occupation choice

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  • Tacsir, Ezequiel

    () (UNU-MERIT)

Abstract

The choice of a university career has a major saying in the future earnings and career opportunities of the individuals. In turn, prospective university students make their decisions mainly motivated by expectations of future rewards. Hence, understanding career choices requires, first, to be able to understand the expectations that students have. Second, it is necessary to increase our knowledge about the timing and the source of information about wages and other forms of rewards. Taking these prerequisites into account, this paper attempts to increase our understanding of the motivations that students have and the perceptions they form when confronted with the occupation choice. Based on a survey to prospective university students in Argentina we will first show how a seemingly homogeneous population exhibit different perceptions and goals. Secondly, we explore the influences and sources of information and actions that these individuals have used to decide their future specialization. Finally, and referred to the occupation rewards, we show that it is possible to aggregate individuals according to their motivations, showing that it is necessary to include in our analysis information and expectations about aspects different from future income streams. This will prove to be of fundamental importance in the attraction of students to technical and scientific related disciplines.

Suggested Citation

  • Tacsir, Ezequiel, 2010. "Making your own future: Expectations and occupation choice," MERIT Working Papers 058, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2010058
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    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2010/wp2010-058.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tacsir, Ezequiel, 2010. "Occupation Choice: Family, Social and Market Influences," MERIT Working Papers 013, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    2. Arcidiacono, Peter & Hotz, V. Joseph & Kang, Songman, 2012. "Modeling college major choices using elicited measures of expectations and counterfactuals," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 3-16.
    3. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Preferences and prices in choice of career: The switch to business, 1972-1987," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-34, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Schweri, Juerg & Hartog, Joop & Wolter, Stefan C., 2011. "Do students expect compensation for wage risk?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 215-227, April.
    6. Júlia Varga, 2002. "Earnings Expectations and Higher-education Enrolment Decisions in Hungary," Society and Economy, Akadémiai Kiadó, Hungary, vol. 24(1), pages 121-152, July.
    7. 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.
    8. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 1-26.
    9. Tacsir, Ezequiel, 2010. "Choosing a career in Science and Technology," MERIT Working Papers 014, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    10. Julian R. Betts, 1996. "What Do Students Know about Wages? Evidence from a Survey of Undergraduates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 27-56.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Occupational Choice; Professions; Human Resources; Public Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations
    • J48 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Particular Labor Markets; Public Policy
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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