The Microeconomics of College Choice, Careers, and Wages: Measuring the Impact of Higher Education

The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science: The Changing Educational Quality of the Workforce, Robert Zemsky and Peter Cappelli (eds.), Vol. 559, September 1998

Posted: 5 Mar 1999

See all articles by Jere Behrman

Jere Behrman

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics

Lori G. Kletzer

University of California at Santa Cruz

Michael S. McPherson

Macalester College

Morton Owen Schapiro

Williams College - Department of Economics

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Abstract

There has been a rising interest in understanding better the impact of college choices on wages, an interest motivated by concerns about increasing wage inequalities, about increasing costs of elite colleges, and about the perceived increasing roles of highly educated individuals in maintaining international competitiveness. Correctly estimating the economic payoff of human capital acquisition necessitates having a well-developed idea of the microeconomic determinants of human behavior. Without this, empirical analyses of such topics as career choice, college choice, or wage determination will be flawed. We discuss why these choice models are important, using examples of similar attempts that do not use sufficient information and illustrate their usefulness in a number of contexts. We close with a discussion of our recent empirical investigations of microeconomic models of college choice.

Note: This is a description of the paper and not the actual abstract.

JEL Classification: I2, J3

Suggested Citation

Behrman, Jere R. and Kletzer, Lori G. and McPherson, Michael S. and Schapiro, Morton Owen, The Microeconomics of College Choice, Careers, and Wages: Measuring the Impact of Higher Education. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science: The Changing Educational Quality of the Workforce, Robert Zemsky and Peter Cappelli (eds.), Vol. 559, September 1998. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=154829

Jere R. Behrman

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States
215-898-7704 (Phone)
215-573-2057 (Fax)

Lori G. Kletzer (Contact Author)

University of California at Santa Cruz ( email )

1156 High St., Social Sciences I
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
United States
831-459-3596 (Phone)
831-459-5900 (Fax)

Michael S. McPherson

Macalester College ( email )

1600 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
United States

Morton Owen Schapiro

Williams College - Department of Economics ( email )

Fernald House
Williamstown, MA 01267
United States

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