Breadth of University Curriculum and Labor Market Outcomes

43 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2020 Last revised: 7 Oct 2020

See all articles by Kelvin Seah

Kelvin Seah

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics

Jessica Pan

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Poh Lin Tan

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 1, 2020

Abstract

We explore student self-selection into broader versus more specialized university curriculums, and whether these choices affect subsequent labor market outcomes, as measured by earnings, full-time permanent employment, and unemployment six months after university graduation. We exploit a unique episode in the history of the National University of Singapore, in which a university-wide revision in graduation requirements in 2007 prompted one of the largest faculties to read a narrower, more specialized, curriculum, while offering others more flexibility to read a broader curriculum. Using a difference-in-differences strategy, we compare changes in the labor market outcomes of graduate cohorts from the former group of faculties, before-and-after the curriculum revision, to changes in the labor market outcomes of graduate cohorts from the latter group of faculties. We do not find evidence that curriculum breadth matters for these labor market outcomes.

Keywords: University Curriculum, Curriculum Breadth, Difference-in-Differences, Earnings, Employment

JEL Classification: I21, J31

Suggested Citation

Seah, Kelvin and Pan, Jessica and Tan, Poh Lin, Breadth of University Curriculum and Labor Market Outcomes (August 1, 2020). Labour Economics, Vol. 65, No. 101873, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3566977 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3566977

Kelvin Seah (Contact Author)

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics ( email )

21 Lower Kent Ridge Rd
Singapore, 119077
Malaysia

Jessica Pan

National University of Singapore (NUS) ( email )

1E Kent Ridge Road
NUHS Tower Block Level 7
Singapore, 119228
Singapore

Poh Lin Tan

National University of Singapore (NUS) - Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy ( email )

Singapore 117591
Singapore

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