nep-sog New Economics Papers
on Sociology of Economics
Issue of 2008‒05‒24
two papers chosen by
Jonas Holmström
Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration

  1. Students' Academic Self Perception By Arnaud Chevalier; Steve Gibbons; Andy Thorpe; Sherria Hoskins
  2. The College Wage Premium, Overeducation, and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK by and By Ian Walker; Yu Zhu

  1. By: Arnaud Chevalier (Dept. of Economics, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, TW20 OEX + Geary Institute, University College Dublin); Steve Gibbons (Department of Geography, London School of Economics + Centre for Economics Performance, London School of Economics); Andy Thorpe (Department of Economics, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth); Sherria Hoskins (Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth)
    Abstract: Participation rates in higher education differ persistently between some groups in society. Using two British datasets we investigate whether this gap is rooted in students’ misperception of their own and other’s ability, thereby increasing the expected costs to studying. Among high school pupils, we find that pupils with a more positive view of their academic abilities are more likely to expect to continue to higher education even after controlling for observable measures of ability and students’ characteristics. University students are also poor at estimating their own test-performance and over-estimate their predicted test score. However, females, white and working class students have less inflated view of themselves. Self-perception has limited impact on the expected probability of success and expected returns amongst these university students.
    Keywords: Test performance, self-assessment, higher education participation, academic selfperception
    JEL: I21 J16 Y80
    Date: 2007–09–24
  2. By: Ian Walker (University of Warwick and the Institute for Fiscal Studies); Yu Zhu (University of Kent and Centre for the Economics of Education)
    Abstract: This paper provides findings from the UK Labour Force Surveys from 1993 to 2003 on the financial private returns to a degree – the “college premium”. The data covers a decade when the university participation rate doubled – yet we find no significant evidence that the mean return to a degree dropped in response to this large increase in the flow of graduates. However, we do find quite large falls in returns when we compare the cohorts that went to university before and after the recent rapid expansion of HE. The evidence is consistent with the notion that new graduates are a close substitute for recent graduates but poor substitutes for older graduates. There appears to have been a very recent increase in the number of graduates getting “non-graduate” jobs but, conditional on getting a graduate job the returns seem stable. Our results are consistent across almost all degree subjects – the exception being maths and engineering where we find that, especially for women, there is a large increase in the proportion with maths and engineering degrees getting graduate jobs and that, conditional on this, the return is rising.
    Keywords: human capital, higher education, college premium
    JEL: I20 J30
    Date: 2007–06–12

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