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Does working to pay for higher education really harm French academic results?

Liliane Bonnal (CRIEF, Toulouse School of Economics, Université de Poitiers, Poitiers, France)
Pascal Favard (Université de Tours, IRJI François-Rabelais, Tours, France)
Kady Marie-Danielle Sorho-Body (Université Felix Houphouët-Boigny, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 16 January 2019




This paper is the first of its kind to look at first-year undergraduates in France. The purpose of this paper is to measure the impact of holding down a job on the probability of students dropping out of higher education or passing their first year.


Given the existence of relevant unobserved explanatory variables, probit models with two simultaneous equations have been estimated. The first equation will enable us to explain paid employment or working hours, and the second academic outcomes that allow for dropout.


The results show that being employed means students are more likely to drop out during their first year and less likely to pass. The latter finding is comparable with results for subsequent academic years although the impact is greater for first-year undergraduates. The more intensive the work, the greater the adverse effects of employment.


By refining the research, this negative impact of employment is not verified for all the student profiles. For some of them, e.g., those with honours at the secondary bachelor, employment does not harm their academic results.



Bonnal, L., Favard, P. and Sorho-Body, K.M.-D. (2019), "Does working to pay for higher education really harm French academic results?", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 591-615.



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