Mechanisms for the effect of field of study on the transition from higher education to work

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

Several studies indicate a substantial impact of horizontal differentiations in higher education on monetary and non-pecuniary labour market outcomes. This paper scrutinizes the underlying mechanisms of this effect and addresses the question of why fields of study differ in early labour market returns. According to the training costs model the field of study indicates different amounts of training costs to employers. The higher the training costs, the more problematic the labour market integration of graduates. The average expected training costs of a study program are determined by the level of occupational specificity and the selective choice of the graduates. Specifically, ‘soft fields’ such as humanities or social sciences are considered as less occupational specific and less academically challenging. Besides, it is suggested that structural relations between fields and occupational characteristics act as mediators for the effect of field of study on labour market returns. Using the German HIS (Hochschul-Informations-System) Graduate Panel 1997 the results show that a lack of occupational specificity is partly responsible for difficulties in labour market entry of graduates from ‘soft fields’, whereas selectivity measures do not contribute to an explanation. By contrast, the type of final degree, the public sector and the required expertise of a job strongly mediate field of study differences. This emphasizes the substantial role of structural and institutionalized relations between education and the labour market.
LanguageEnglish
Place of PublicationMannheim
Pages1-36
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Publication series

NameArbeitspapiere – Working Papers
PublisherMannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung
No.130
ISSN (Print)1437-8574

Fingerprint

field of study
Higher Education
labor market
Education
Personnel
graduate
education
costs
labor market integration
Costs
Specificity
opening up of markets
study program
Social sciences
Public Sector
public sector
employer
Mediator
information system
Cost Model

Keywords

  • labour market
  • social stratification
  • human capital
  • higher education
  • employability
  • kaplan-meier

Cite this

Klein, M. (2010). Mechanisms for the effect of field of study on the transition from higher education to work. (pp. 1-36). (Arbeitspapiere – Working Papers; No. 130). Mannheim.
Klein, Markus. / Mechanisms for the effect of field of study on the transition from higher education to work. Mannheim, 2010. pp. 1-36 (Arbeitspapiere – Working Papers; 130).
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Klein, M 2010 'Mechanisms for the effect of field of study on the transition from higher education to work' Arbeitspapiere – Working Papers, no. 130, Mannheim, pp. 1-36.

Mechanisms for the effect of field of study on the transition from higher education to work. / Klein, Markus.

Mannheim, 2010. p. 1-36 (Arbeitspapiere – Working Papers; No. 130).

Research output: Working paper

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Klein M. Mechanisms for the effect of field of study on the transition from higher education to work. Mannheim. 2010, p. 1-36. (Arbeitspapiere – Working Papers; 130).