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Work Hard or Play Hard? Degree Class, Student Leadership and Employment Opportunities

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  • Baert, Stijn
  • Verhaest, Dieter

Abstract

We investigated the impact on first hiring outcomes of two main curriculum vitae (CV) characteristics by which graduates with a tertiary education degree distinguish themselves from their peers: degree class and extra-curricular activities. These characteristics were randomly assigned to 2,800 fictitious job applications that were sent to real vacancies in Belgium. Academic performance and extra-curricular engagement both enhanced job interview rates by about 7%. The effect of a higher degree class was driven by female (versus male) candidates and candidates with a master’s (versus a bachelor’s) degree. We did not find evidence for these CV characteristics to be substitutes or to reinforce each other’s effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Baert, Stijn & Verhaest, Dieter, 2018. "Work Hard or Play Hard? Degree Class, Student Leadership and Employment Opportunities," GLO Discussion Paper Series 276, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:276
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    Keywords

    degree class; extra-curricular activities; hiring; field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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