Picture of boy being examining by doctor at a tuberculosis sanatorium

Understanding our future through Open Access research about our past...

Strathprints makes available scholarly Open Access content by researchers in the Centre for the Social History of Health & Healthcare (CSHHH), based within the School of Humanities, and considered Scotland's leading centre for the history of health and medicine.

Research at CSHHH explores the modern world since 1800 in locations as diverse as the UK, Asia, Africa, North America, and Europe. Areas of specialism include contraception and sexuality; family health and medical services; occupational health and medicine; disability; the history of psychiatry; conflict and warfare; and, drugs, pharmaceuticals and intoxicants.

Explore the Open Access research of the Centre for the Social History of Health and Healthcare. Or explore all of Strathclyde's Open Access research...

Image: Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. Wellcome Collection - CC-BY.

Mechanisms for the effect of field of study on the transition from higher education to work

Klein, Markus (2010) Mechanisms for the effect of field of study on the transition from higher education to work. Working paper. Universität Mannheim Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung, Mannheim.

Text (Klein-MZES-2010-effect-of-field-of-study-on-the-transition-from-higher-education-to-work)
Final Published Version

Download (643kB) | Preview


Several studies indicate a substantial impact of horizontal differentiations in higher education on monetary and non-pecuniary labour market outcomes. This paper scrutinizes the underlying mechanisms of this effect and addresses the question of why fields of study differ in early labour market returns. According to the training costs model the field of study indicates different amounts of training costs to employers. The higher the training costs, the more problematic the labour market integration of graduates. The average expected training costs of a study program are determined by the level of occupational specificity and the selective choice of the graduates. Specifically, ‘soft fields’ such as humanities or social sciences are considered as less occupational specific and less academically challenging. Besides, it is suggested that structural relations between fields and occupational characteristics act as mediators for the effect of field of study on labour market returns. Using the German HIS (Hochschul-Informations-System) Graduate Panel 1997 the results show that a lack of occupational specificity is partly responsible for difficulties in labour market entry of graduates from ‘soft fields’, whereas selectivity measures do not contribute to an explanation. By contrast, the type of final degree, the public sector and the required expertise of a job strongly mediate field of study differences. This emphasizes the substantial role of structural and institutionalized relations between education and the labour market.