Conferences at Department of Economics, University of Toronto, RCEF 2012: Cities, Open Economies, and Public Policy

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University Quality and the Labour Market Outcomes of Canadian Youth

Joniada Milla

Last modified: 2012-07-13


This paper estimates the wage returns to the Canadian university quality by making a comparison between the Maclean's magazine best overall ranking and a quality index constructed by Principal Component Analysis. The main data source is Youth in Transition Survey for the years 1998-2008 and the outcome of interest is the hourly wage rate of Canadian youth. Using OLS, matching methods and  dose-response functions we draw some main results from this analysis. First, more low-ability students sort into high-quality universities than the reverse. Second, we nd that returns to graduating from a middle-ranking university for women vary from 10% to 15%. Returns for men are statistically zero. Third, returns to university quality are positive for small improvements in ranking within the group of middle-ranking universities. However, they are zero for small improvements in ranking within the group of lowest- and highest-ranking universities.

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