Who benefits most from an MBA?

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Not the people who go to the best schools:

Because MBA programs require work experience before admittance, prior wages can be exploited to disentangle the return to the degree from unobserved productivity. We find that controlling for individual fixed effects generally reduces the estimated returns to an MBA, particularly for those in top programs. However, for full-time MBA students attending schools outside of the top-25 the estimated returns are higher when we control for individual fixed effects. We show that there is some evidence that those who take the GMAT but do not obtain an MBA are stronger in dimensions such as workplace skills that are not easily measured.

Source: “THE ECONOMIC RETURNS TO AN MBA” from International Economic Review, Volume 49, Issue 3, pages 873–899, August 2008

Interesting. If you can get into a top 25 school, maybe you don’t shouldn’t go at all…

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