Local Labor Markets and Postsecondary Education


Countercyclical college enrollment is a stylized fact in economics. However, the empirical evidence focuses on countries with highly cyclical outside options. This study investigates the effect of local labor market shocks in a dual education system, where apprenticeships provide a safe outside option. Administrative data on German higher education reveal that lower labor demand at high school graduation decreases first-time college-going. The effect is concentrated at public universities, while more graduates enroll at more vocationally oriented colleges or start an apprenticeship. Recessions can cause a shift in human capital investments towards applied skills, which come with direct remuneration.

draft available upon request, Job Market Paper
Andreas Leibing
Andreas Leibing
Ph.D. Candidate

I’m an applied microeconomist with a particular interest in labor economics and the economics of education.