ERIC Number: EJ782607
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: 0
Credentials, Signals, and Screens: Explaining the Relationship Between Schooling and Job Assignment
Bills, David B.
Review of Educational Research, v73 n4 p441-449 2003
The empirical relationship between educational attainment and credentials with socioeconomic attainment is well established, but why this relationship arises remains in doubt. The author of this article discusses seven types of middle-range theories meant to explain the relationship: human capital, screening (including filtering), signaling, control, cultural capital, institutional, and credentialist theories. In each, the central causal mechanism concerns how employers and job seekers acquire and use labor market information. The author argues that occupational status attainment and wage determination models are not adequate to explain the mechanisms underlying the process whereby the highly schooled become the highly placed in job hierarchies. He indicates the implications of transformations of the American labor market for further assessment of the relationship between educational credentials and job assignment.
Descriptors: Job Applicants, Credentials, Human Capital, Employment Level, Educational Attainment, Labor Market, Education Work Relationship, Educational Status Comparison, Occupational Information, Employment Potential
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A