ChatGPT and the Labor Market: Unraveling the Effect of AI Discussions on Students' Earnings Expectations

Samir Huseynov

This paper investigates the causal impact of negatively and positively framed ChatGPT Artificial Intelligence (AI) discussions on US students' anticipated labor market outcomes. Our findings reveal students reduce their confidence regarding their future earnings prospects after exposure to AI debates, and this effect is more pronounced after reading discussion excerpts with a negative tone. Unlike STEM majors, students in Non-STEM fields show asymmetric and pessimistic belief changes, suggesting that they might feel more vulnerable to emerging AI technologies. Pessimistic belief updates regarding future earnings are also prevalent across gender and GPA levels, indicating widespread AI concerns among all student subgroups. Educators, administrators, and policymakers may regularly engage with students to address their concerns and enhance educational curricula to better prepare them for a future that will be inevitably shaped by AI.

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