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A question of degree: the effects of degree class on labor market outcomes

Feng, Andy and Graetz, Georg (2013) A question of degree: the effects of degree class on labor market outcomes. CEP Discussion Papers (CEPDP1221). London School of Economics and Political Science. Centre for Economic Performance, London, UK.

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In this paper we estimate the sorting effects of university degree class on initial labor market outcomes using a regression discontinuity design that exploits institutional rules governing the award of degrees. Consistent with anecdotal evidence, we find sizeable and significant effects for Upper Second degrees and positive but smaller effects for First Class degrees on wages. In additional results we explore differences across groups and find evidence consistent with a simple model of statistical discrimination on the basis of gender and types of degree programmes. When we split the sample by ability, we find that the signaling effects are similar in the high ability group but stronger for Upper Second degrees in the lower ability group. The evidence points to the importance of sorting in the high skills labor market.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
L Education > L Education (General)
JEL classification: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I2 - Education
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J3 - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs > J31 - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials by Skill, Training, Occupation, etc.
Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2013 11:13
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:29

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