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Abstract

This study examines the returns to agricultural majors compared to other majors offered in four-year institutions. We find that, after accounting for the necessarily rural location of those with college degrees in agriculture, monetary returns to education are much closer to the median than naive rankings imply. As individuals acquire college degrees in pursuit of monetary and non-monetary goals, earnings are generally an imperfect measure of success for any degree, but they appear more so for those pursuing degrees in agriculture. Agriculture degree recipients report giving less importance to income when making a career choice than virtually any other major, with the exception of teachers.

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