Relevance of education to occupation: a new empirical approach based on college courses

Pooya Almasi, Aboozar Hadavand, Sarah Thomas, Orkideh Gharehgozli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We introduce a new approach to measuring the match between education and occupation by using the number of college courses related to one's occupation. Previous studies have only considered the match between college ‘major’ and occupation. That approach ignores the content of education and the courses taken in college. We find that taking courses in college that are relevant to one's occupation is significantly associated with higher wages, which can be taken as evidence against the notion that returns to college are principally a matter of signaling. A student's wage increases, on average, by 1.5–2.1% for each matched course.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEducation Economics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • horizontal mismatch
  • return to college courses
  • Returns to education
  • skill match

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