Reshaping Aspirations: The Effects of the Great Recession on College Major Choice

52 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2016 Last revised: 14 Jun 2020

See all articles by Fulya Ersoy

Fulya Ersoy

Loyola Marymount University

Date Written: March 14, 2019

Abstract

How did the Great Recession affect the college degree field choices? Utilizing the geographic variation in the severity of the recession in the US, I answer this question using the differences-in-differences and synthetic controls approaches. I find that the Great Recession affected Communication, Interdisciplinary Sciences, and Psychology fields positively whereas it impacted Science and Engineering Technologies field negatively. To explore whether these impacts were systematic, I categorize fields based on their sensitivity to the Great Recession. The results show that there was a shift from recession-sensitive majors towards recession-resistant majors, suggesting students’ expectations about future labor market outcomes are affected by current shocks.

Keywords: Great Recession, College Major, Degree Field, Labor Market

JEL Classification: I23, I26, J24

Suggested Citation

Ersoy, Fulya, Reshaping Aspirations: The Effects of the Great Recession on College Major Choice (March 14, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2746337 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2746337

Fulya Ersoy (Contact Author)

Loyola Marymount University ( email )

1 LMU Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045
United States
+1 310 338 7372 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/drfulyaersoy

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