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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dwight Adamson


Over the last twenty years, the return on investment to college education has increased dramatically. This study attempts to prove that recent increases in earnings, regardless of gender and race, cannot be attributed entirely to the growing amount of formal education individuals receive these days. The assumption is made that an increased quality of education is another important factor contributing to the recent hike in returns to educational investment. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, combined with the variables of institutional control (public vs. private), has been assumed to be a good indicator of college quality. Using data from the National Survey of Youth for the years 1988–2000, it has been found that the quantity of education is still a major determinant of wage returns to schooling across gender and race. However, at least some portion of this return must be attributed to the positive influence of research and doctoral universities.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Wages -- Effect of education on
Wages -- College graduates
Women -- Education (Higher) -- Economic aspects
Education, Higher -- Evaluation


Includes bibliographical references (pages 72-73)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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