The Value of Postsecondary Credentials in the Labor Market: An Experimental Study

53 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2014

See all articles by David James Deming

David James Deming

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Noam Yuchtman

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business

Amira Abulafi

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Claudia Goldin

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Lawrence F. Katz

Harvard University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: September 2014

Abstract

We study employers’ perceptions of the value of postsecondary degrees using a field experiment. We randomly assign the sector and selectivity of institutions to fictitious resumes and apply to real vacancy postings for business and health jobs on a large online job board. We find that a business bachelor’s degree from a for-profit “online” institution is 22 percent less likely to receive a callback than one from a non-selective public institution. In applications to health jobs, we find that for-profit credentials receive fewer callbacks unless the job requires an external quality indicator such as an occupational license.

Suggested Citation

Deming, David James and Yuchtman, Noam and Abulafi, Amira and Goldin, Claudia and Katz, Lawrence F., The Value of Postsecondary Credentials in the Labor Market: An Experimental Study (September 2014). NBER Working Paper No. w20528. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2502710

David James Deming (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Noam Yuchtman

University of California, Berkeley - Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Amira Abulafi

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Claudia Goldin

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-3934 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-588-0356 (Phone)
617-868-2742 (Fax)

Lawrence F. Katz

Harvard University - Department of Economics ( email )

Littauer Center
Room 215
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-5148 (Phone)
617-868-2742 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/katz/katz

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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