Major Choices: Students' Beliefs About Labor Market Outcomes
Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Swissotel Chicago, Zurich B
- Chair: Ioana Marinescu, University of Chicago
The Effects of the College Scorecard on the Search for Colleges
AbstractThe College Scorecard is a website launched by the U.S. Department of Education in September 2015 that provides information about different colleges. This paper studies the effects of the website on interest in colleges, calculating both intent-to-treat and a local average treatment effect estimates of the effect of the College Scorecard. Interest is measured using Google search activity. The Scorecard led to more searches for keywords associated with high-earnings, high-graduation rate, and low-tuition colleges. However, the size of the effect is very small.
Ex Ante Returns and Occupational Choice
AbstractWe show that data on subjective expectations, especially on outcomes from counterfactual choices and choice probabilities, are a powerful tool in recovering ex ante treatment effects as well the relationship between individual choices and expected gains to treatment. In this paper we focus on the choice of occupation, and use elicited beliefs from a sample of male undergraduates at Duke University. By asking individuals about potential earnings associated with counterfactual choices of college majors and occupations, we can recover the distribution of the ex ante returns to particular occupations, and how these returns vary across majors. We also examine how students update their beliefs over the course of college. We find large differences in expected earnings across occupations, and substantial heterogeneity across individuals in the corresponding ex ante returns. Our results also point to the existence of sizable complementarities between college major and occupations. Finally, we show that the ex ante returns that were measured while the individuals were still in college are informative about their actual occupational choices.
University of Chicago
Federal Reserve Bank of New York
- D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
- I2 - Education and Research Institutions