Sociology ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-12-2017


Objective. To examine the labor market returns on education and the effects of match between degree and job field between Native Americans and their White counterparts. Methods. Using logistic and OLS regressions, pooled data from the 2003 and 2010 National Survey of College Graduates is used to examine the effects of match between bachelor’s degree and job field on earnings. Results. Having a match creates statistically significant differences in on income with those with matches in engineering making 1.26 times as much and those with a match in business making 1.17 times as much as their unmatched counterpart. Notable racial differences are also seen on income within the same match. Interaction effects show that Native Americans and Whites are not getting the same return on education, although the results were not statistically significant, Whites make more than American Indians in the match field of “other”, but in the match of engineering, American Indians make statistically significantly more than their White counterparts, with Whites making .894 times less, indicating a higher labor market return for that match field than Whites. Conclusion. The results underscore the need for further research on educational returns for Native Americans as many underlying processes such as social and cultural capital, disparities in higher education, and dispersion of earnings throughout fields all may contribute to masking inequalities.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Kimberly R. Huyser

Second Committee Member

Dr. Nancy López

Third Committee Member

Dr. Reuben Thomas

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Sociology Commons