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Who skims the cream of the Italian graduate crop? Wage-employment versus self-employment

Publication Date
  • J31 - Wage Level And Structure
  • Wage Differentials
  • J24 - Human Capital
  • Skills
  • Occupational Choice
  • Labor Productivity
  • Economics


This paper tests whether the academic achievement is a significant determinant of the employment status in the Italian labor market: are the new entrepreneurs selected from the top or bottom end of the graduates ability distribution? Is the cream of the graduate crop pulled into self-employment by the higher expected earnings or are the individuals with lower degree score pushed into entrepreneurship by poor alternatives? Our data show a strong negative relation between academic achievement and self-employment status, i.e. we assess the skimming of the best graduates into wage and salary work.

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