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The Effect of the Number of Diplomas on Their Value

Ross D. Boylan
Sociology of Education
Vol. 66, No. 3 (Jul., 1993), pp. 206-221
DOI: 10.2307/2112737
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2112737
Page Count: 16
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The Effect of the Number of Diplomas on Their Value
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Abstract

Credentialists hold that education operates by conferring status rather than skills. This article develops that argument into a precise queuing model of the labor market and then uses the model to investigate the effects of group size on group rewards, finding that such effects are positive but small. Although the traditional economic model suggests that large size is a liability (other things being equal), the queuing model shows that it may be an asset; since there are many diploma holders, the sheer number of such people may contribute to the observed rewards of having a diploma. However, credentials effects, the extra benefits of holding credentials, stem mostly from the special value of the credentials to employers, rather than from the number of people with credentials.

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