Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/225544
Authors: 
Ehrmantraut, Laura
Pinger, Pia
Stans, Renske
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
ECONtribute Discussion Paper 032
Abstract: 
This paper explores students' expectations about the returns to completing higher education and provides first evidence on \textit{perceived} signaling and human capital effects. We elicit counterfactual labor market expectations for the hypothetical scenarios of leaving university with or without a degree certificate among a large and diverse sample of students at different stages of higher education. Our findings indicate substantial perceived returns to higher education. Moreover, by exploiting within-individual variation, we document sizeable expected labor market returns from signaling, whereas perceived productivity-enhancing (human capital) returns seem to be less pronounced. Over the expected course of career, we find lasting education premia as well as evidence consistent with employer learning.
Subjects: 
higher education
returns to education
signaling
educational attainment
licensing
employer learning
JEL: 
I21
I23
I26
J24
J31
J32
J44
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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