Journal of East China Normal University(Educational Sciences) ›› 2021, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (4): 53-63.doi: 10.16382/j.cnki.1000-5560.2021.04.005

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The Effect of Major Matching on the Starting Salary of College Graduates: An Empirical Research Based on Propensity Score Matching Method

Yanting Hu1, Cheng Jiang2   

  1. 1. School of Marxism, Xiamen University, Xiamen Fujian 361005, China
    2. Graduate School of Education, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
  • Online:2021-04-20 Published:2021-04-22


The match between college graduates’ major and job is an essential factor affecting the quality of employment. Based on the national survey data of colleges graduates’ employment in 2015, this paper investigates the major match of the college graduates, as well as the effects of major match on the starting salary of graduates. It uses the Propensity Score Matching (PSM) method to solve the endogenous problem, and reduce the deviation of results caused by self-selection.The main conclusions and findings are: there are 56.1% of graduates’ majors and jobs match, while 11.7% are irrelevant. Using the OLS method, the starting salary of the major match is 3.4% higher than the major mismatch, and after correcting the endogenous problem by using PSM method, the salary effect of the major match is 5%. OLS regression method underestimates the effect of major match on starting salary. Further research finds that, compared with Project 211 universities and vocational colleges, major match has a significant income effect on non-Project 211 graduates. Also, compared with graduates of college degree and master degree or above, major match has a significant income effect on bachelor degree graduates, the starting salary of the major match is about 7% higher than the major mismatch. Major match of economics graduates has a more significantly positive influence on starting salary, and the major match graduates is about 15% higher than the major mismatch. Based on this, colleges and universities should make more accurate judgment on the specialty matching in order to effectively improve the employment quality of college students.

Key words: college graduates, major match, starting salary