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Earnings over the Life Course: General versus Vocational Education

Bart Golsteyn () and Anders Stenberg ()

Journal of Human Capital, 2017, vol. 11, issue 2, 167 - 212

Abstract: Two common hypotheses regarding the relative benefits of vocational versus general education are (1) that vocational skills enhance relative short-term earnings and (2) that general skills enhance relative long-term earnings. Empirical evidence for these hypotheses has remained limited. Based on Swedish registry data of individuals in short (2-year) upper secondary school programs, this study provides a first exploration of individuals' earnings across nearly complete careers. The descriptive earnings patterns indicate support for both hypotheses 1 and 2. The support holds when grade point average and family fixed effects are controlled for and also when enrollment in further education and fertility decisions are taken into account.

Date: 2017
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