Survey of Lifetime Income Expectations (Kellogg MBA students, 2004)

Published: 10 October 2021| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/vtjhth7wyg.1
Carlos Madeira


For this study I administered a survey of 64 MBA students of the Kellogg Graduate School of Business in November of 2004, asking students about their expectation of their median earnings profile and a set of 4 other percentiles around their median at the horizon of 1 year, 5 years, and 15 years in the future after their graduation, both in the case of completing their degree and for the hypothetical scenario in which students had never enrolled in a post-graduate education program. Therefore this study can measure students' expectations both of the short-term gains in earnings from their degree and the increased gains to experience, as well as the perceived risk of students' earnings profile. The survey was implemented on a random sample of 64 students from the 960 student population of the Kellogg MBA program, with individual interviews of students inside the Kellogg Business School building in Evanston, during November of 2004. The characteristics of the 64 respondents in my sample are fairly similar to the overall population of students at Kellogg business school. The median student's age in my sample is 28 and 90% of the students have age 32 or lower. There are no students younger than 25 and all students were previously employed before their MBA, with the median student having 5 years of previous work experience. Both the survey data and its complete questionnaire are published with this article in anonymized form with a total of 198 variables. Readers can also refer to Madeira (2020) for a more complete description of the survey and its results. The survey was structured as follows: 1) Background questions: Respondents report on their gender, age, previous education and work experience, last yearly pre-tax work income, GMAT scores, reasons for taking the MBA, and percent chances of doing each field major at Kellogg. 2) Expectations regarding the nature of the 1st job: Subjective expectations of the most likely country of work, business areas, and job functions of the 1st work obtained by the student after graduation. 3) Earnings expectations under counterfactual scenarios: Subjective expectations of the future pre-tax work income for 1, 5 and 15 years after the completion of their degree, for both counterfactual scenarios in which they have completed their MBA degree and in which they had followed their regular professional career without any additional post-graduate degree. 4) Beliefs about last year's income distributions for the 2003 and 1998 MBA classes, which represent, respectively, the classes that graduated one and 5 years before the interview.



Education, Labor Economics, Postgraduate Education, Expectations