Panel Paper: The Returns to Course Credits, Certificates, and Degrees: Evidence From Michigan's Community Colleges

Friday, November 8, 2013 : 10:05 AM
Washington Ballroom (Westin Georgetown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Daniel Kreisman, Susan Dynarski, Brian Jacob and Peter Bahr, University of Michigan
Linking UI wage records to student-level administrative data from a diverse subset of community colleges in Michigan, we estimate labor market returns to enrollment, course credits and award receipt through the great recession. The panel nature of our earnings data allows us to estimate how these returns accrue with experience across both field of study and type of award. While our point estimates are consistent with previous work, we show that much of the economic returns to awards are concentrated in only a few fields, nursing (for women) and vocational (for men), and that returns to Certificates are less persistent than those for Associate’s degrees. In addition, we test functional form assumptions in estimating sheepskin effects, returns to credits for non-completers, and in accounting for simultaneous enrollment and employment decisions common in the literature.