New Evidence on the Match Between College Coursework and Occupations
26 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2017 Last revised: 9 Sep 2018
Date Written: July 3, 2017
We propose a new measure of match between college education and occupations and estimate how this match affects wages. Where previous studies have looked at the match between college “majors” and occupations, we calculate a non-binary match score that links “coursework” to occupations. Using NLSY97 data, we find that taking courses in college that are relevant to one’s occupation significantly increases wages. Furthermore, performing well in these courses is associated with an even higher wage premium. A student’s wage increases, on average, by 1.6–2.9 percent for each matched course. This effect increases to 2.3–3.8 percent when we use a grade weighted matching score.
Keywords: Returns to Education; Skill Match; Horizontal Match
JEL Classification: J24, I26, J62
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation