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What determines the return to education: An extra year or a hurdle cleared?

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  • Dickson, Matt
  • Smith, Sarah

Abstract

The 1973 Raising of the School Leaving Age from 15 to 16 has been used to identify returns to years’ schooling. However, because the first set of “high stakes” exams are taken in the UK at age 16, the reform affected the proportion with qualifications, as well as schooling length. In order to shed light on whether the returns reflect the extra length of schooling or the increase in qualifications, we exploit another institutional rule – the Easter Leaving Rule – which we argue only affected the probability of obtaining qualifications (and not the length of schooling). We find sizeable returns to academic qualifications – increasing the probability of employment by 40% points – and our results suggest that qualifications drive most of the returns to education.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 1167-1176

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:6:p:1167-1176

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

Related research

Keywords: Returns to education; RoSLA; Qualifications;

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References

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  1. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2003. "Does education raise productivity, or just reflect it?," Working Papers 200304, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  2. Devereux, Paul J. & Fan, Wen, 2011. "Earnings returns to the British education expansion," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1153-1166.
  3. Richard Blundell & Lorraine Dearden & Barbara Sianesi, 2003. "Evaluating the impact of education on earnings in the UK: Models, methods and results from the NCDS," IFS Working Papers W03/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Too Young to Leave the Nest? The Effects of School Starting Age," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 455-467, May.
  5. Lorraine Dearden, 1999. "Qualifications and earnings in Britain: how reliable are conventional OLS estimates of the returns to education?," IFS Working Papers W99/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Devereux, Paul J. & Hart, Robert A., 2008. "Forced to Be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 3305, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Costas Meghir, 2010. "When you are born matters: the impact of date of birth on educational outcomes in England," DoQSS Working Papers 10-09, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  8. Richard Blundell & Lorraine Dearden & Barbara Sianesi, 2005. "Evaluating the effect of education on earnings: models, methods and results from the National Child Development Survey," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(3), pages 473-512.
  9. Harmon, C & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for the UK," IFS Working Papers W95/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Del Bono, Emilia & Galindo-Rueda, Fernando, 2004. "Do a Few Months of Compulsory Schooling Matter? The Education and Labour Market Impact of School Leaving Rules," IZA Discussion Papers 1233, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Julien Grenet, 2013. "Is Extending Compulsory Schooling Alone Enough to Raise Earnings? Evidence from French and British Compulsory Schooling Laws," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(1), pages 176-210, 01.
  12. Silles, Mary A., 2009. "The causal effect of education on health: Evidence from the United Kingdom," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 122-128, February.
  13. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-44 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Damon Clark & Heather Royer, 2010. "The Effect of Education on Adult Health and Mortality: Evidence from Britain," NBER Working Papers 16013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Harmon, Colm P., 2011. "Economic Returns to Education: What We Know, What We Don't Know, and Where We Are Going – Some Brief Pointers," IZA Policy Papers 29, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Devereux, Paul J. & Fan, Wen, 2011. "Earnings returns to the British education expansion," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1153-1166.
  3. Hart, Robert A & Moro, Mirko & Roberts, J Elizabeth, 2012. "Date of birth, family background, and the 11 plus exam: short- and long-term consequences of the 1944 secondary education reforms in England and W ales," Stirling Economics Discussion Papers 2012-10, University of Stirling, Division of Economics.
  4. Dickson, Matt & Gregg, Paul & Robinson, Harriet, 2013. "Early, Late or Never? When Does Parental Education Impact Child Outcomes?," IZA Discussion Papers 7123, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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