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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Effect of Double Majoring in Undergraduate on Earnings: Using Propensity Score Matching


This study provides an estimation and methodology update on previous paper that studies the effect of having a second major in undergraduate on future earnings. Using 2019 National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG) data and Propensity Score Matching (PSM) method, I find that double majoring increases earnings by around 3% for the general population, and this earnings premium is more remarkable for people under the age of 40, which amounts to about 4%. While the proportion of double majors in the population drops from over 20% in 2003 to slightly above 13% in 2019, the returns to double majoring increase from around 2.5% since 2003. I also compare results from OLS regressions and PSM and argue that PSM can relax some of the parametric assumptions imposed by OLS regressions and hence reduce misspecification and extrapolation bias from OLS regressions, which previous literature on this topic relies on.

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