Estimating the Return to College Selectivity Over the Career Using Administrative Earning Data

Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research and Princeton University
Feb 16, 2011
Authors
Stacy Dale and Alan B. Krueger
This paper uses administrative earnings data to the effect of attending a highly selective college on future earnings. It extends the work of a previous paper—that examined the 1995 earnings of a cohort of students who entered college in 1976. Using earnings data from a longer time horizon (from 1983 through 2007) as well as data for a more recent cohort of students who entered college in 1989, the researchers found that estimates of the return to college selectivity fell substantially, often to near zero. However, for black, Hispanic, and students from less-educated families (in terms of their parents’ education), the estimates of the return to college selectivity remained large.