International student exchange has become an important part of university-level studies and the EU plans to increase it significantly. We analyze how international student exchange affects students’ academic human capital. Using detailed student-level data from four faculties (Economics and Business, Law, Engineering and Science) of a large Belgian public university we find that, on average, exchange students lose 7% in terms of grades relative to their non-mobile peers, but less so in Erasmus-facilitated exchange. Since students’ academic performance is an important factor in companies’ hiring decisions, participation in international exchange seems to have a non-negligible impact on labor market outcomes.

Czarnitzki, Dirk, Wytse Joosten und Otto Toivanen (2021), International Student Exchange and Academic Performance, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 21-011, Mannheim. Download


Czarnitzki, Dirk
Joosten, Wytse
Toivanen, Otto


Exchange programs; student mobility; academic performance