Gray University Degrees: Experimental Evidence from India
Education Finance and Policy , Volume 15 - Issue 2 p. 292- 309
Scams involving university degrees are flourishing in many emerging markets. Using a resume experiment in India, this paper studies the impact of gray degrees, or potentially bought academic credentials from questionable universities, on callback rates to job applications. The experiment varied the type of degree (no, gray, and authentic) in online applications to entry-level jobs that require no university qualification. We find that gray degrees increase callback rates by 42 percent or 8 percentage points relative to having no degree. However, we also document that gray degrees fare on average worse than authentic degrees. These empirical patterns are consistent with a model where employers have beliefs about the authenticity of degrees and are discounting graydegree universities probabilistically. We discuss our findings with respect to the Indian context.
|Education Finance and Policy|
|Organisation||International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)|
Majilla, T, & Rieger, M. (2020). Gray University Degrees: Experimental Evidence from India. Education Finance and Policy, 15(2), 292–309. doi:10.1162/edfp_a_00268