Ex ante returns and occupational choice

Journal Article

© 2020 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. Using data from Duke University undergraduates, we make three main contributions to the literature. First, we show that data on earnings beliefs and probabilities of choosing particular occupations are highly informative of future earnings and occupations. Second, we show how beliefs data can be used to recover ex ante treatment effects and their relationship with individual choices. We find large differences in expected earnings across occupations and provide evidence of sorting on expected gains. Finally, nonpecuniary factors play an important role, with a sizable share of individuals willing to give up substantial amounts of earnings by not choosing their highest-paying occupation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Arcidiacono, P; Joseph Hotz, V; Maurel, A; Romano, T

Published Date

  • December 1, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 128 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 4475 - 4522

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-534X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3808

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1086/710559

Citation Source

  • Scopus