Title

The economic returns to an MBA

Abstract

Because MBA programs require work experience before admittance, prior wages can be exploited to disentangle the return to the degree from unobserved productivity. We find that controlling for individual fixed effects generally reduces the estimated returns to an MBA, particularly for those in top programs. However, for full-time MBA students attending schools outside of the top-25 the estimated returns are higher when we control for individual fixed effects. We show that there is some evidence that those who take the GMAT but do not obtain an MBA are stronger in dimensions such as workplace skills that are not easily measured. © 2008 the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

Publication Title

International Economic Review

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