DP9565 | The Effect of College Employment on Graduation: Evidence from France

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This paper investigates the effect of employment while in college on graduation, using data from the French Labour Force Surveys over the period 1992 to 2002. Using spatial variation in low-skill youth unemployment rates to circumvent the endogeneity of college employment decisions, we find a significant and very large detrimental effect of working while in college on graduation probability. We argue that this may be due to the lack of flexibility of the French university system, which does not offer much complementarity between schooling and in-school employment.