Post-Baccalaureate Wage Growth within Four Years of Graduation: The Effects of College Quality and College Major
Cite this article as: Thomas, S.L. & Zhang, L. Res High Educ (2005) 46: 437. doi:10.1007/s11162-005-2969-y Abstract
This paper examines the impact of college quality and academic major on the earnings of a nationally representative sample of baccalaureate recipients. We extend previous work in this area by analyzing the magnitude of change in the influence of these factors at two points in the early career of these graduates. Our results demonstrate that, despite significant variation, graduates from higher quality colleges enjoy a greater rate of growth in earnings during their early career. We also show that growth in earnings varies significantly by the graduates’ major field of study. Wage growth for women and racial minorities is also examined.
Keywords college quality academic major labor market outcomes human capital References Becker, G. S. 1993Human Capital:A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Specific Reference to Education (3rd Ed.) The University of Chicago Press Chicago Google Scholar Berger, M. 1988 Predicted future earnings and choice of college major Industrial and Labor Relations Review 41 418 429 Google Scholar Borjas, G. 1996Labor Economics McGraw-Hill New York Google Scholar Bourdieu, P., Passeron, J. 1977Reproduction in Education, Society, and Culture Sage London Google Scholar Brewer, D., Ehrenberg, R. 1996 Does it pay to attend an elite private college? Evidence from the senior class of 1980 Research in Labor Economics 15 239 272 Google Scholar Brewer, D., Eide, E., Ehrenberg, R. 1999 Does it pay to attend an elite private college? Cross cohort evidence on the effects of college type on earnings Journal of Human Resources 34 104 123 Google Scholar
S. B. Dale A. Krueger 1999 Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College Princeton University Working Paper No. 409, Industrial Relations Section.
Ehrenberg, R. G., Smith, R. S. 2003Modern Labor Economics:Theory and Public Policy (8th Ed.) Addison Wesley Boston Google Scholar Eide, E. 1994 College major choice and changes in the gender wage gap Contemporary Economic Policy 7 55 64 Google Scholar Eide, E., Waehrer, G. 1998 The role of the option value of college attendance in college major choice Economics of Education Review 17 73 82 Google Scholar England, P. 1982 The failure of human capital theory to explain occupational sex segregation Journal of Human Resources 17 358 70 Google Scholar England, P. 1992Comparable Worth:Theories and Evidence Aldine De Gruyter New York Google Scholar Ethington, C. A., Thomas, S. L., Pike, G. 2002 Regression as it should be: Back to the basics Smart, J. eds. Higher Education:Handbook of Theory and ResearchVOl. XVII Agathon Press New York 263 294 Google Scholar Farley, R. 1980 The long road:Blacks and Whites in America American Demographics 2 11 17 Google Scholar Fox, M. 1993 Is it a good investment to attend an elite private college? Economics of Education Review 12 137 151 Google Scholar Greene, W. H. 1993Econometric Analysis (2nd Ed.) Macmillan New York Google Scholar Griffin, L., Alexander, K. 1978 Schooling and socioeconomic attainments: High school and college influences American Journal of Sociology 84 319 347 Google Scholar Grodsky, E., Pager, D. 2001 The structure of disadvantage: Individual and occupational determinants of the black-white wage gap American Sociological Review 66 542 567 Google Scholar Grogger, J., Eide, E. 1995 Changes in college skills and the rise in the college wage premium Journal of Human Resources 30 280 310 Google Scholar
Hansmann, H. 1999. Higher education as an associative good. The Forum for the Future of Higher Education, Available online:http://www.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ffp9901s.pdf.
Heck, R. H., Thomas, S. L. 2000An Introduction to Multilevel Modeling Lawrence Erlbaum Mahwah, NJ Google Scholar Hecker, D. 1998 Earnings of college graduates:Women compared with men Monthly Labor Review 121 62 71 Google Scholar Heckman, J. 1979 Sample selection bias as a specification error Econometrica 47 153 161 Google Scholar Heckman, J. 1980 Addendum to sample selection bias as a specification error Stormsdorfer, E. Farkas, G. eds. Evaluation Studies Review Annual Sage Beverly Hills, CA 153 161 Google Scholar James, E., Alsalam, N. 1993 College choiceacademic achievement and future earnings Hoffman, E. P. eds. Essays on the Economics of Education W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research Kalamazoo MI 111 137 Google Scholar James, E., Alsalam, N., Conaty, J., To, D. 1989 College quality and future earnings: Where should you send your child to college? American Economic Review 79 247 252 Google Scholar Jones, E., Jackson, J. 1990 College grades and labor market rewards Journal of Human Resources 25 253 266 Google Scholar Karabel, J., Astin, A. 1975 Social class, academic ability, and college quality Social Forces 53 381 398 Google Scholar Kominski, R., Adams, A. 1994Educational Attainment in the United States:March 1993 and 1992 (Current Population Reports, Population Characteristics P20-476) Government Printing Office Washington, DC Google Scholar MacPherson, D., Hirsch, B. 1995 Wages and gender composition: Why do women’s jobs pay less? Journal of Labor Economics 13 426 71 Google Scholar
Mortenson, T. 2003. Undergraduate degree completion by age 25–29 for those who enter college 1947–2002 (Report no. 137). Postsecondary Education Opportunity, Available online:http://www.postsecondary.org..
Mueller, R. 1988 The impact of college selectivity on income for men and women Research in Higher Education 29 175 191 Google Scholar Mullen, A., Goyette, K., Soares, J. 2003 Who goes to graduate school? Social and academic correlates of educational continuation after college Sociology of Education 76 143 169 Google Scholar National Center for Education Statistics 1999Baccalaureate and Beyond Longitudinal Study:1993/97 Second Follow-up Methodology ReportNCES 99–159 U.S. Department of Education Washington, DC Google Scholar Rumberger, R. 1984 The changing economic benefits of college graduates Economics of Education Review 3 3 11 Google Scholar Rumberger, R., Thomas, S. 1993 The economic returns to college quality, majorand performance Economics of Education Review 12 1 19 Google Scholar Schultz, T. W. 1961 Education and economic growth Henry, N. B. eds. Social Forces Influenceing American Education University of Chicago Press Chicago Google Scholar Sewell, W. H., Hauser, R. M. 1975Education, Occupation, and Earnings:Achievement in the Early Career Academic Press New York Google Scholar Simpson, J. 2001 Segregated by subject:racial differences in the factors influencing academic major between Euro-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Latino-, African-, and Native Americans The Journal of Higher Education 72 63 100 Google Scholar Smart, J. 1988 College influences on graduates income levels Research in Higher Education 29 41 59 Google Scholar Solmon, L. 1973 The definition and impact of college quality Solmon, L. Taubman, P. eds. Does College Matter? Academic Press New York Google Scholar Solmon, L. 1975 The definition of college quality and its impact on earnings Exploring Economic Research 2 537 588 Google Scholar Spence, M. 1974Market signaling Harvard University Press CambridgeMA Google Scholar Stolzenberg, R., Relles, D. 1997 Tools for intuition about sample selection bias and its correction American Sociological Review 62 494 507 Google Scholar Thomas, G. 1994Black College Students and Factors Influencing Their Major Field Choice Center for Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University BaltimoreMD Google Scholar Thomas, S. L. 2000 Deferred costs and economic returns to college quality, majorand academic performance Research in Higher Education 41 281 313 Google Scholar Thomas, S. L. 2003 Longer-term economic effects of college selectivity and control Research in Higher Education 44 263 299 Google Scholar Trent, W. 1984 Equity considerations in higher education:Race and sex differences in degree attainment and major fields from 1976 through 1981 American Journal of Education 92 280 305 Google Scholar Trusheim, D., Crouse, J. 1981 Effects of college prestige on men’s occupational status and income Research in Higher Education 14 283 304 Google Scholar Winston, G. 1996The Economic Structure of Higher Education:Subsidies, Customer-inputs, and Hierarchy Williams College Williamstown, MA Google Scholar Winston, G. 1997 Why can’t a college be more like a firm? Change 29 32 39 Google Scholar Winston, G., Yen, I. C. 1995Costs, Prices, Subsidies, and Aid in U.S. Higher Education Williams College Williamstown, MA Google Scholar Winston, G., Zimmerman, D. forthcoming Peer Effects in Higher Education Hoxby, C. eds. College Decisions: How Students Actually Make Them and How They Could University of Chicago Press for the NBER Chicago Google Scholar Wise, D. 1975 Academic achievement and job performance American Economics Review 65 350 366 Google Scholar Zellner, A. 1962 An efficient method of estimating seemingly unrelated regressions and tests for aggregation bias Journal of the American Statistical Society 57 348 368 Google Scholar Zellner, A. 1963 Estimators for seemingly unrelated regression equations: Some exact finite sample results Journal of the American Statistical Society 58 977 992 Google Scholar Zellner, A., Huang, D. S. 1962 Further properties of efficient estimators for seemingly unrelated regression equations International Economic Review 3 300 313 Google Scholar Copyright information
© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005