Eleanor Wiske Dillon
Department of Economics
306 Converse Hall
Amherst, MA 01002
Institutional Affiliation: Microsoft
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2018||The Consequences of Academic Match between Students and Colleges|
with Jeffrey A. Smith: w25069
We consider the effects of student ability, college quality, and the interaction between the two on academic outcomes and earnings using data on two cohorts of college enrollees. Student ability and college quality strongly improve degree completion and earnings for all students. We find evidence of meaningful complementarity between student ability and college quality in degree completion at four years and long-term earnings, but not in degree completion at six years or STEM degree completion. This complementarity implies some tradeoff between equity and efficiency for policies that move lower ability students to higher quality colleges.
|February 2017||Self-Employment Dynamics and the Returns to Entrepreneurship|
with Christopher T. Stanton: w23168
Small business owners and others in self-employment have the option to transition to paid work. If there is initial uncertainty about entrepreneurial earnings, this option increases the expected lifetime value of self-employment relative to pay in a single year. This paper first documents that moves between paid work and self-employment are common and consistent with experimentation to learn about earnings. This pattern motivates estimating the expected returns to entrepreneurship within a dynamic lifecycle model that allows for non-random selection and gradual learning about the entrepreneurial earnings process. The model accurately fits entry patterns into self-employment by age. The option value of returning to paid work is found to constitute a substantial portion of the monetary val...
|August 2013||The Determinants of Mismatch Between Students and Colleges|
with Jeffrey Andrew Smith: w19286
We use the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort to examine mismatch between student ability and college quality. Mismatch has implications for the design of state higher education systems and for student aid policy. The data indicate substantial amounts of both undermatch (high ability students at low quality colleges) and overmatch (low ability students at high quality colleges). Student application and enrollment decisions, rather than college admission decisions, drive most mismatch. Financial constraints, information, and the public college options facing each student all affect the probability of mismatch. More informed students attend higher quality colleges, even when doing so involves overmatching.
Published: Eleanor Wiske Dillon and Jeffrey Andrew Smith, "Determinants of the Match between Student Ability and College Quality," Journal of Labor Economics 35, no. 1 (January 2017): 45-66. https://doi.org/10.1086/687523