A Major Choice: An Examination of Higher Education and Ability-Adjusted Income

46 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2014

See all articles by Katharina Ley Best

Katharina Ley Best

University of Michigan Ann Arbor - Industrial and Operations Engineering

Jussi Keppo

National University of Singapore - NUS Business School

Date Written: January 10, 2014

Abstract

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

Best, Katharina Ley and Keppo, Jussi, A Major Choice: An Examination of Higher Education and Ability-Adjusted Income (January 10, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2377533 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2377533

Katharina Ley Best (Contact Author)

University of Michigan Ann Arbor - Industrial and Operations Engineering ( email )

1205 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

HOME PAGE: http://sitemaker.umich.edu/katley/home

Jussi Keppo

National University of Singapore - NUS Business School ( email )

1 Business Link
Singapore, 117592
Singapore

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
51
Abstract Views
400
rank
391,254
PlumX Metrics