The Benefits of Alternatives to Conventional College: Labor-market Returns to Proprietary Schooling

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 13.01.2015, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Christopher Jepsen (University College Dublin)


This paper provides novel evidence on the labor-market returns to proprietary (also called for-profit) postsecondary school attendance. Specifically, we link administrative records on proprietary school attendance with quarterly earnings data for nearly 100,000 students. Because average age at school entry is 30 years old, and because we have earnings data for five or more years prior to attendance, we estimate a person fixed-effects model to control for time-invariant differences across individuals. We find returns in excess of $1,000 per quarter five years after enrollment. We find no statistically difference in returns between certificate and associate’s degree programs, but we do find sizable differences in returns by field of study.

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