Title page for ETD etd-06222010-020048

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Almero, Maria Cristina P.
URN etd-06222010-020048
Title Financial returns to human capital development :a case study of former students of agriculture at Virginia Tech
Degree Master of Science
Department Agricultural Economics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Preston, Warren P. Committee Chair
Ballweg, John A. Committee Member
Broder, Josef M. Committee Member
Taylor, William J. Committee Member
  • Agricultural education
Date of Defense 1988-08-17
Availability restricted
The objective of this thesis was to identify and measure the effect of factors that influenced income earnings of former agricultural students. Data were obtained from a questionnaire mailed to former Virginia Tech students, all of whom were enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences during 1977. An analysis of the 243 respondents was conducted with emphasis on educational profiles, labor market entry and participation, and personal characteristics. Models based on human capital and labor market principles were developed to explain differences in individual incomes.

Earned income models were estimated for the first job after leaving college, for the job held in 1985, and for the 1985 job in a lagged formulation. Analysis of covariance was used to estimate the empirical models. Model results for the first job starting income indicated positive returns to education and the provision of profit sharing benefits. Significantly higher starting incomes were also found for males and for those who considered pay as important or very important. In contrast, the year of job entry exhibited an inverse relationship with starting income. No significant differences in first job income were found for college major, type of placement services used, state location of the job, nature of the job (whether agricultural or not), and provision of housing benefits.

Model results for the 1985 income, as in the starting income model, indicated positive returns to the provision of profit sharing benefits. Significantly higher incomes were also associated with married respondents, urban residents, and those who ranked oral communication skills as much needed or essential. In contrast, lower incomes were associated with those who ranked a technical skill to be much needed or essential and with those who held more previous jobs. Insignificant variables in the 1985 income model included level of education, college major, state location of the job, nature of the job, personal assessment of the importance of pay, provision of housing benefits, ranking of the need for knowledge of agricultural policy, and gender.

Results for the lagged formulation of the 1985 income model were similar to results for the 1985 income model. In addition, prior income was found to be a positive and significant determinant of 1985 incomes. Implications for academic support areas, curricula, and students were presented and discussed

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