Do completed college majors respond to changes in wages?
Mark C. Long, Evans ; Dan Goldhaber, Center for Education Data and Research ; Nick Huntington-Klein, Department of Economics
Economics of Education Review Volume 49, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
In an analysis connecting labor market earnings to college major choices, we find statistically significant relationships between changes in wages by occupation and subsequent changes in college majors completed in related fields of college study between 1982 and 2012. College majors (defined at a detailed level) are most strongly related to wages observed three years earlier, when students were college freshmen. The responses to wages vary depending on the extent to which there is a strong mapping of majors into particular occupations. We also find that women, blacks, Hispanics, and students with low test scores are less likely to respond to wage changes. These findings have implications for policy interventions designed to align students’ major choices with labor market demand.
Long, M.C., Goldhaber, D. & Huntington-Klein, N. (2015). Do completed college majors respond to changes in wages?. Economics of Education Review, 49(1), 1-14. Elsevier Ltd.