The article offers an overview of research reports concerned with financial and non-financial returns on education at the university level depending on the course of study. In the main body of the article, special emphasis is placed on a shift of focus from vertical income disparities - which are at the center of most research reports - to horizontal returns on higher education. This enabled the authors to come up with new research hypotheses. In addition to discussing ideas related to the contemporary determinants of monetary return on education, using an expanded Mincer equation, the authors tackle problems related to different education paths at the university level. Taking into account exclusively financial factors when trying to explain educational decisions is insufficient, according to the authors, which explains why, in their article, they focus extensively on non-financial returns on education. The study shows that the choice of education path cannot be explained properly without considering non-monetary effects, which, according to the estimates made by the authors, are as important as financial ones. Moreover, based on existing research reports and their own analysis of the problem, the authors compiled a list of the most important factors determining non-financial returns on education along with research problems related to them. The presented review of the literature is a basis for building a model explaining educational decisions in choosing a path of study at the university level. Estimates of the structural parameters of such a model are important from the perspective of both a specific agent and state policy, the authors say, for example with regard to the way in which the education system is subsidized and how additional incentives are used to ensure the desired student mix at each course. The authors take into account differences in earnings among graduates from different fields of study and also consider non-monetary returns on education in their analysis. This makes it possible to explain, in a comprehensive manner, the determinants of the decision-making process in education, the authors conclude.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.