Gordon Dahl, Dan-Olof Rooth, Anders Stenberg, 10 November 2020

In many countries, secondary school students choose between academic fields without knowing what impact their choice will have on future earnings. This column argues that information on field-specific earnings premiums could not only help students to plan for their future, but could also help policymakers to allocate education resources. Taking advantage of the distinctive admissions system in Sweden’s secondary schools, the authors find that earnings payoffs for engineering, natural science, and business are generally positive, while the returns to social science and humanities are mostly negative.

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