The returns to vocational high school education in Turkey by disciplines
Hayytjanova, Aylar (2015) The returns to vocational high school education in Turkey by disciplines. [Thesis]
Recently Turkey is actively engaging in reforming the vocational education, so that it could serve as a valid alternative to general education. However, only limited number of studies in Turkey scrutinize labor market conditions faced by the general and vocational high school graduates. The review of labor force surveys shows while vocational high school graduates certainly face higher returns in terms of labor force participation and average wage premium compared to high school graduates, these returns do vary across the vocations. The graduates of engineering, science/mathematics/computing majors have the best perspectives for being employed and participate in the labor force, while education and services graduates face adverse labor market conditions. Using standard ordinary least squares method, I estimate that the vocational high school graduates on average earn 1.9% over general high school graduates. The wage returns within vocations, however, are considerably unequal. The science/math/computing major receives the largest 18% markup over education discipline, followed by services, engineering, health and social sciences/business/law graduates enjoying returns in the range of 10.5%-12.5%. The lowest premium is received by arts/humanities - 4.6% and education majors. These findings could assist policymakers in evaluating current and future educational policies. Moreover, they might be helpful in ensuring that the disciplines with the lowest returns are reoriented towards market needs.
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