Which Dollars Get Measured? Assessing Earnings Metrics Using Data from Connecticut

Research Report

Which Dollars Get Measured? Assessing Earnings Metrics Using Data from Connecticut

Abstract

Policymakers and researchers measure earnings after enrolling in higher education. Using Connecticut data, we show that the definition of this earnings metric matters. The data we use, the period we assess, and the students we include affect how institutions stack up against each other. In line with previous findings, we illustrate that measures of in-state wages tend to be lower than wages using national data. Excluding students who didn’t graduate and those enrolled in further education reduces the share of students included in the earnings measures but may more accurately capture earnings for employed graduates. The best earnings measure may incorporate multiple metrics.
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