Catching Up Is Hard to Do: Undergraduate Prestige, Elite Graduate Programs, and the Earnings Premium
Vanderbilt University - Law School; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics
July 28, 2014
Vanderbilt Law and Economics Research Paper No. 14-23
Income disparities arise not only from differences in the level of education but also from differences in status associated with an individual’s degree-granting college or university. While higher ability among those who graduate from elite undergraduate institutions may account for much of the earnings premium associated with elite education, ability should be largely equalized among those who graduate from similarly selective graduate programs. Few graduates of nonselective institutions earn post-baccalaureate degrees from elite institutions, and even when they do, undergraduate institutional prestige continues to influence earnings overall and among those with law, medical, graduate business and doctoral degrees.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 49
Keywords: Education, Inequality, Graduate degrees, Professional labor markets, Earnings premium, Elite education
JEL Classification: I240, J240, J310, J440
Date posted: July 30, 2014 ; Last revised: October 15, 2014
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