College quality, earnings, and job satisfaction: Evidence from recent college graduates

Xiangmin Liu, Scott Thomas, Liang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigates the relationship among college quality, earnings, and job satisfaction among a recent cohort of college graduates. Our results suggest that, controlling for earnings, college quality is negatively related to job satisfaction, especially to those aspects of the job that are associated with monetary rewards. Further analysis indicates that there is no significant difference between the male and female groups; however, the negative relationship between satisfaction with monetary rewards and college quality is mainly driven by the non-white group. These findings do not support the view that graduating from elite schools will necessarily lead to greater job satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-201
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Labor Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • College quality
  • Earnings
  • Education
  • Job satisfaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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