Estimating returns to college attainment: comparing survey and state administrative data based estimates


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Author: Scott-Clayton, Judith; Wen, Qiao


The increasing availability of massive administrative datasets linking postsecondary enrollees with post-college earnings records has stimulated a wealth of new research on the returns to college, and has accelerated state and federal efforts to hold institutions accountable for students' labor market outcomes. Many of these new research and policy efforts rely on state databases limited to postsecondary enrollees who work in the same state post-college, with limited information regarding family background and pre-college ability. In this paper, the authors use recent waves of data from...  [+] Show more

Subjects: Higher education; Outcomes; Statistics; Research; Policy

Keywords: Attainment; Return on education and training; Comparative analysis; Measurement; Survey; Statistical method; Longitudinal data; Data analysis; Policy implications

Geographic subjects: United States; North America

Published: New York, New York: Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment, 2017

Physical description: 28 p. (working paper) + 23 p. (appendices)

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Resource type: Report, paper or authored book

Document number: TD/TNC 127.303

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