The match quality between a worker’s field of study in college and her occupation is an important labor market outcome. Yet this match quality is difficult to define and measure. We propose a new measure of major-occupation match quality based on relative productivity. A worker is well-matched if graduates from her major, working in her occupation, have high earnings relative to other major-occupation pairs. We show that some majors can be very well-matched or very badly matched (e.g. nursing), while others are never very well- or badly matched (e.g. humanities). Our measure has two desirable features: it is continuous, and it can be estimated in any data set including field of study, wage, and occupation.
We thank Tugce Cuhadaroglu, two anonymous referees and the editor for helpful comments.
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This article contains supplementary material (https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2022-0254).
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