Title: An estimation of lifetime earnings and return on undergraduate education investment for different fields: a case of Thailand

Authors: Montchai Pinitjitsamut

Addresses: Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Faculty of Economics, Kasetsart University, 50 Ngamwongwan Rd., Chatujak, Bangkok, 10900, Thailand

Abstract: This study examines the lifetime earning of undergraduate degree holders in 22 fields. A Mincer equation including both an education investment and sensitivity analysis is performed to identify the precise magnitude of difference. The findings illustrate the significant increasing impact on income with declining growth rate for all fields. Health science graduates are the highest wage earners. The calculated net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) are categorised into six groups: 1) very high – health science and environment protection; 2) high – engineering and engineering trades and security service; 3) middle-high – life science; 4) middle-low – humanities, law, mathematics and statistics, architect and building; 5) low – teacher training and education science, arts, social and behaviour science, journalism and information, business and administration, manufacturing and processing, agriculture, forestry and fishery, and personal service; 6) very low – social services. This study provides such critical information for high school students and government on educational decision.

Keywords: return on higher education; age-earning profile; net value; undergraduate fields; Mincer equation; Thailand; lifetime earnings; undergraduate education; educational investment; degree holders; career choice.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEED.2012.047101

International Journal of Education Economics and Development, 2012 Vol.3 No.2, pp.149 - 163

Available online: 30 May 2012

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