School-to-Work Linkages in the United States, Germany and France

Thomas A. DiPrete, Columbia University
Thijs Bol, University of Amsterdam
Christina Ciocca, Columbia University
Herman van de Werfhorst, University of Amsterdam

A new analytical approach is presented for assessing the strength of linkages between educational credentials, including fields of study, and occupational positions. Building on recent advances in the study of multi-group segregation, the new approach finds substantial differences in school-work linkage strength across the U.S., France, and Germany, but at the same time demonstrates that existing approaches exaggerate the extent of within-country homogeneity of a country’s strength of linkage across educational categories and occupations. The paper illustrates the substantive importance of the new approach by showing first that the standard “organization space-qualification space” distinction poorly describes the contemporary difference between Germany and France, and second by showing that relative mean occupational wages in Germany and the U.S. vary directly with the relative linkage strength for occupations in the two countries.

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Presented in Session 224: Human Capital, Labor Market Outcomes, and Inequality