In today’s economy, a college degree is more important than ever. Not only does it help graduates land that first job, but it can ensure that they earn more over their lifetime as well.

A new model—developed by economists Mark Huggett of Georgetown University, Gustavo Ventura of Arizona State University, and Amir Yaron of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School—shows just how important it is for young adults to be well prepared for the working world. The model demonstrates that...

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