Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #316

Wage Differentials by Field of Study – The Case of German University Graduates

by Katja Görlitz and Barbara S. Grave

RWI, 02/2012, 26 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-363-4 DOI: 10.4419/86788363

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Abstract

Using data on German university graduates, this paper analyzes wage differentials by field of study at labor market entry and five to six years later. At both points in time, graduates from Arts and Humanities have lower average monthly wages compared to other fields of study. Blinder-Oaxaca decompositions show that these wage differentials are generated largely by different job and firm characteristics of graduates rather than individual or study-related characteristics. We also find evidence that the less favorable job and firm characteristics of Arts and Humanities graduates at labor market entry persist for (at least) the next five to six years.

JEL-Classification: I23, J24, J31

Keywords: Wage decomposition; university graduates; field of study

Published as:

Görlitz, K. and B. S. Grave (2012), Wage Differentials by Field of Study – The Case of German University Graduates. Education Economics 20 (3): 284-302.

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