How student pathways affect labour market outcomes: evidence from tax-linked administrative data

University of Ottawa
R. Finnie
M. Dubois
M. Miyairi
The Education Policy Research Initiative (EPRI), a national research organization based at the University of Ottawa, recently carried out a research project examining post-graduation outcomes of PSE graduates by constructing and analyzing a dataset linking 14 Canadian PSE institutions’ administrative data to tax data held with Statistics Canada. One variable included in the administrative data classifies students by applicant type, such as direct entry from high school or transfer student. Using information on the application types to their PSE programs and earnings records surrounding their spells of studies, EPRI aimed to construct and compare the earnings profiles of students who followed different PSE pathways. We first compared the post-graduation earnings outcomes of direct entry students with those of students from other application type categories. The direct entry graduates were further divided into two groups based on their age at graduation to partially account for differences in their previous schooling and labour market histories. While we found differences in first-year earnings and subsequent earnings growth across different pathways, these differences were quantitatively insignificant compared to those found with respect to other graduate characteristics. Moreover, these earnings differences became quantitatively less significant relative to actual earnings levels as earnings generally grew at a robust pace after graduation...