A Major Choice: An Examination of Higher Education and Ability-Adjusted Income
46 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2014
Date Written: January 10, 2014
We compare annual post-college income across student groups defined by ability levels, school quality, and major using individual-level data from the NLSY 1997. We condition on student ability (quality of the top school admitted to), and study major and school choice together. Elite institution attendance increases post-college income by almost $8,000. Some of this increase is driven by longer working hours. Major choice has a bigger impact on income than school choice. Students majoring in engineering, computer-related fields, and business earn more than humanities and arts majors even after adjusting for ability and hours worked ($23,000 more for top students).
Keywords: Post-college income, debiasing, major choice, college choice, enrollment choice, conditional logistic model
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation