The Value of Postsecondary Credentials in the Labor Market: An Experimental Study

By: David J. Deming Noam Yuchtman Amira Abulafi Claudia Goldin Lawrence F. Katz

URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20528&r=ltv

We study employers’ perceptions of postsecondary degrees using a field experiment. We randomly assign the sector and selectivity of institution to fictitious resumes and send them to real vacancy postings on a large online job board. According to our results, a bachelor’s degree in business from a for-profit “online” institution is 22 percent less likely to receive a callback than a similar degree from a non-selective public institution. Degrees from selective public institutions are relatively more likely to receive callbacks from employers posting higher-salaried jobs, suggesting that employers value college quality and the likelihood of a successful match when contacting applicants.

JEL: I21 J24

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