Magali Beffy, Denis Fougère et Arnaud Maurel
This article reports an estimation of the effects of students’ paid employment on their success at university and their decision to pursue their studies. Our analysis is based on samples extracted from INSEE Labour Force Surveys conducted between 1992 and 2002. The samples are confined to students who have begun their university studies and are preparing a first- or second-stage degree (French DEUG or B.A. or M.A. equivalent). We exclude students whose jobs are linked to their studies, particularly apprentices under contract and interns in training. We estimate probit models with two simultaneous equations: the first explains the student’s paid employment; the second explains the student’s success in the year-end exam and—in one of the models—jointly with the decision to continue his or her studies. The models incorporate working time in paid employment: one of the models distinguishes between jobs requiring more or less than 16 hours a week. The results show that holding a steady job significantly reduces the probability of passing exams at the end of the academic year. If they did not work, students in paid employment would have a 43-point-higher probability of completing their academic year successfully. An additional analysis shows that the job-plus-studies combination does not significantly influence the probability of pursuing one’s studies in the following year, regardless of program and academic level.