EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

(Un)informed college and major choice: Evidence from linked survey and administrative data

Justine S. Hastings, Christopher Neilson (), Anely Ramirez and Seth Zimmerman

Economics of Education Review, 2016, vol. 51, issue C, 136-151

Abstract: We use large-scale surveys of Chilean college applicants and college students to explore the way students form beliefs about earnings and cost outcomes at different institutions and majors and how these beliefs relate to degree choice and persistence. Linking our survey records to administrative education and earnings data, we compare earnings and cost expectations to observed values for past students and follow survey participants forward to see how beliefs relate to matriculation and dropout outcomes. We find that students have correctly centered but noisy cost expectations, and appear to systematically overestimate earnings outcomes for past graduates. Students who overestimate costs are less likely to matriculate in any degree program and in their stated first-choice program, and are more likely to drop out. Students who overestimate earnings matriculate at similar rates to other students, but choose degree programs where past students have been less likely to graduate, have earned less early in their careers, and have been more likely to default on student loans. Consistent with an informal model of enrollment choice, students with a stated preference for labor market-related degree characteristics are less likely to overestimate earnings outcomes and choose degrees where past students have gone on to earn more, while the opposite is true for students with a stated preference for enjoyment of the curriculum.

Keywords: Subjective expectations; Higher education; College access (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I2 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (17) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272775715000813
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
Working Paper: (Un)Informed College and Major Choice: Evidence from Linked Survey and Administrative Data (2015) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:51:y:2016:i:c:p:136-151

DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2015.06.005

Access Statistics for this article

Economics of Education Review is currently edited by E. Cohn

More articles in Economics of Education Review from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Haili He ().

 
Page updated 2020-10-09
Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:51:y:2016:i:c:p:136-151