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Contribution Details

Type Working Paper
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Rising tide effect or crowding out - does tertiary education expansion lift the tasks of workers without tertiary degree?
Organization Unit
  • Tobias Schultheiss
  • Curdin Pfister
  • Uschi Backes-Gellner
  • English
Institution University of Zurich
Series Name Swiss Leading House Working Paper
Number 154
Date 2018
Abstract Text An extensive literature examines the effects of tertiary education expansion on wages of workers with and without tertiary degree. However, the question how tertiary education expansion affects the tasks of these workers remains unexplored. We examine whether such an expansion crowds out sophisticated tasks such as R&D in jobs of workers without tertiary degree or elevates the content of their tasks via a rising tide effect. In particular, we analyze the effects of the establishment of Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS), a large tertiary education expansion in Switzerland, on R&D tasks of workers with apprenticeship training. Job ads provide us with information about the demand for R&D tasks. To estimate causal effects, we exploit the quasi-natural variation in time and location of the establishment of UAS campuses and perform difference-in-differences estimations. We find that firms demand more R&D tasks of workers with apprenticeship training after a tertiary education expansion. Our results therefore show that instead of crowding out, tertiary education expansion lifts the tasks of workers with apprenticeship training via a rising tide effect.
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