Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/147879
Authors: 
Ransom, Michael R.
Phipps, Aaron
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 10193
Abstract: 
In this paper we examine the occupational distribution of individuals who hold bachelor degrees in particular fields in the United States using data from the various waves of the National Survey of College Graduates. We propose and calculate indexes that describe two related aspects of the occupational distribution by major field of study: distinctiveness (how dissimilar are the occupations of a particular major when compared with all other majors) and variety (how varied are the occupations among those who hold that particular major). We discuss theoretical properties of these indices and statistical properties of their estimates. We show that the occupational variety has increased since 1993 for most major fields of study, particularly between the 1993 and 2003 waves of the survey. We explore reasons for this broadening of the occupation distribution. We find that this has not led to an increase in reported mismatch between degree and occupation.
Subjects: 
college major
occupation
JEL: 
I23
J24
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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