Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/223812
Authors: 
Ransom, Tyler
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 13370
Abstract: 
I examine the extent to which the returns to college majors are influenced by selective migration and occupational choice across locations in the US. To quantify the role of selection, I develop and estimate an extended Roy model of migration, occupational choice, and earnings where, upon completing their education, individuals choose a location in which to live and an occupation in which to work. In order to estimate this high-dimensional choice model, I make use of machine learning methods that allow for model selection and estimation simultaneously in a non-parametric setting. I find that OLS estimates of the returns to business and STEM majors relative to education majors are biased upward by 15% on average. Using estimates of the model, I characterize the migration behavior of different college majors and find that migration flows are twice as sensitive to occupational concentration as they are towage returns.
Subjects: 
college major
migration
occupation
Roy model
JEL: 
I2
J3
R1
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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