Presentation Title

Heterogeneous Skill Distribution and College Major: Evidence from PIAAC

Presenter Information

Kan YaoFollow

Faculty Mentor

Rodrigo Pinto

Start Date

18-11-2017 10:45 AM

End Date

18-11-2017 11:00 AM

Location

15-1822

Session

Social Science 3

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

A large literature documents the uneven distribution of labor market outcomes across majors. Students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) can earn more than their peers. This earnings gap can be attributed not only to the deferential educational resources investment but also to heterogeneous distribution of initial cognitive skills across majors. The author benefits from the rich data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) to examine this earnings gap in the United Stated and the United Kingdom. Based on the author's findings, this paper establishes new facts that add to the understanding of how college field premiums are generated. Up to two-fifths of the field premiums can be explained due to self-selection of basic cognitive skills. Despite the largely isomorphic contributions of numeracy and literacy skills on choosing college field of study, the pricing of numeracy is much higher than literacy in the labor market.

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Nov 18th, 10:45 AM Nov 18th, 11:00 AM

Heterogeneous Skill Distribution and College Major: Evidence from PIAAC

15-1822

A large literature documents the uneven distribution of labor market outcomes across majors. Students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) can earn more than their peers. This earnings gap can be attributed not only to the deferential educational resources investment but also to heterogeneous distribution of initial cognitive skills across majors. The author benefits from the rich data from the Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) to examine this earnings gap in the United Stated and the United Kingdom. Based on the author's findings, this paper establishes new facts that add to the understanding of how college field premiums are generated. Up to two-fifths of the field premiums can be explained due to self-selection of basic cognitive skills. Despite the largely isomorphic contributions of numeracy and literacy skills on choosing college field of study, the pricing of numeracy is much higher than literacy in the labor market.