UCL Department of Economics


Applied Micro Seminar presented by Joe Altonji (Yale)

24 October 2019, 12:15 pm–1:45 pm

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The Labor Market Returns to Advanced Degrees (co-author: Ling Zhong, Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business)

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni


Department of Economics – Economics


Rm 321, 115 Galton LT
1–19 Torrington Place

Abstract: We estimate the returns to a broad set of graduate degrees. To control for heterogeneity in preferences and ability, we use fixed effects for combinations of field-specifc undergraduate and graduate degrees obtained by the last time we observe an individual. Basically, we compare earnings before the graduate degree to earnings after the degree. Using NSF data, we find large differences across graduate fields in earnings effects. The returns often depend on the undergraduate major. The contribution of occupational upgrading to the earnings gain varies across degrees. Finally, simple regression-based estimates of returns to graduate fields are often highly misleading

Paper can be found


About the Speaker

Joe Altonji

at Yale