Learning and Earning: An Approximation to College Value Added in Two Dimensions

29 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2016

See all articles by Evan Riehl

Evan Riehl

Cornell University, Department of Economics

Juan Saavedra

University of Southern California - Department of Economics; Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR)

Miguel S. Urquiola

Columbia University

Date Written: October 2016

Abstract

This paper explores the implications of measuring college productivity in two different dimensions: earning and learning. We compute system-wide measures using administrative data from the country of Colombia that link social security records to students’ performance on a national college graduation exam. In each case we can control for individuals’ college entrance exam scores in an approach akin to teacher value added models. We present three main findings: 1) colleges’ earning and learning productivities are far from perfectly correlated, with private institutions receiving relatively higher rankings under earning measures than under learning measures; 2) earning measures are significantly more correlated with student socioeconomic status than learning measures; and 3) in terms of rankings, earning measures tend to favor colleges with engineering and business majors, while colleges offering programs in the arts and sciences fare better under learning measures.

Suggested Citation

Riehl, Evan and Saavedra, Juan and Urquiola, Miguel S., Learning and Earning: An Approximation to College Value Added in Two Dimensions (October 2016). NBER Working Paper No. w22725. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2850259

Evan Riehl (Contact Author)

Cornell University, Department of Economics ( email )

Juan Saavedra

University of Southern California - Department of Economics ( email )

3620 South Vermont Ave. Kaprielian (KAP) Hall, 300
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR)

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

Miguel S. Urquiola

Columbia University ( email )

420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

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