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The Return to a University Education in Great Britain

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  • Nigel C. O’Leary
  • Peter J. Sloane

Abstract

In this paper, we estimate the rate of return to first degrees, Masters degrees and PhDs in Britain using data from the Labour Force Survey. We estimate returns to broad subject groups and more narrowly defined disciplines, distinguishing returns by gender and controlling for variations in student quality across disciplines. The results reveal considerable heterogeneity in returns to particular degree programmes and by gender, which have important policy implications for charging students for the costs of their education.

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File URL: http://ner.sagepub.com/content/193/1/75.abstract
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by National Institute of Economic and Social Research in its journal National Institute Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 193 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 75-89

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Handle: RePEc:sae:niesru:v:193:y:2005:i:1:p:75-89

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Keywords: education; wages;

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References

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  1. Battu, H. & Belfield, C. R. & Sloane, P. J., . "Overeducation Among Graduates: A Cohort View," Working Papers 98-03, Department of Economics, University of Aberdeen.
  2. Trostel, P. & Walker, I., 2000. "Education and Work," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 554, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  3. Pedro Telhado Pereira & Pedro Silva Martins, 2004. "Returns to education and wage equations," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 525-531.
  4. Blundell, Richard, et al, 2000. "The Returns to Higher Education in Britain: Evidence from a British Cohort," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(461), pages F82-99, February.
  5. Sveinbjörn Blöndal & Simon Field & Nathalie Girouard, 2002. "Investment in Human Capital Through Post-Compulsory Education and Training: Selected Efficiency and Equity Aspects," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 333, OECD Publishing.
  6. David Greenaway & Michelle Haynes, 2003. "Funding Higher Education in The UK: The Role of Fees and Loans," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F150-F166, February.
  7. Arnaud Chevalier & Gavan Conlon, 2003. "Does it pay to attend a prestigious university?," CEE Discussion Papers 0033, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  8. Chevalier, Arnaud, 2004. "Motivation, Expectations and the Gender Pay Gap for UK Graduates," IZA Discussion Papers 1101, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Derek Leslie, 2003. "Using success to measure quality in British higher education: which subjects attract the best-qualified students?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 166(3), pages 329-347.
  10. Machin, Stephen & Puhani, Patrick A., 2003. "Subject of degree and the gender wage differential: evidence from the UK and Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 393-400, June.
  11. D. H. Blackaby & P. D. Murphy & N. C. O'Leary, 1999. "Graduate earnings in Great Britain: a matter of degree?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(5), pages 311-315.
  12. Dan A. Black & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 2003. "The Economic Reward for Studying Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 365-377, July.
  13. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. O'Leary, Nigel C. & Sloane, Peter J., 2006. "Rates of Return to Degrees across British Regions," IZA Discussion Papers 1947, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Wen Fan, 2011. "Estimating the Return to College in Britain Using Regression and Propensity Score Matching," Working Papers 201119, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  3. Javier Valbuena, 2012. "A Longitudinal Perspective on Higher Education Participation in the UK," Studies in Economics 1215, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  4. Kostas Mavromaras & Seamus Mcguinness & Nigel O'Leary & Peter Sloane & Yi King Fok, 2010. "The Problem Of Overskilling In Australia And Britain," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 78(3), pages 219-241, 06.
  5. Seamus McGuinness & Frances McGinnity & Philip J. O'Connell, 2009. "Changing Returns to Education During a Boom? The Case of Ireland," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 23(s1), pages 197-221, 03.
  6. Walker, Ian & Zhu, Yu, 2010. "Differences by Degree: Evidence of the Net Financial Rates of Return to Undergraduate Study for England and Wales," IZA Discussion Papers 5254, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Grazier, Suzanne & O'Leary, Nigel C. & Sloane, Peter J., 2008. "Graduate Employment in the UK: An Application of the Gottschalk-Hansen Model," IZA Discussion Papers 3618, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Pouliakas, Konstantinos & Livanos, Ilias, 2008. "The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in Greece," MPRA Paper 14168, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Mar 2009.
  9. Stephen Machin & Anna Vignoles, 2006. "Education Policy in the UK," CEE Discussion Papers 0057, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  10. O'Leary, Nigel C. & Sloane, Peter J., 2005. "The Changing Wage Return to an Undergraduate Education," IZA Discussion Papers 1549, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2007. "The College Wage Premium, Overeducation, and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK by and," Working Papers 200720, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  12. Kelly, Elish & O'Connell, Philip J. & Smyth, Emer, 2010. "The economic returns to field of study and competencies among higher education graduates in Ireland," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 650-657, August.
  13. Walker, Ian & Zhu, Yu, 2005. "The College Wage Premium, Overeducation, and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 1627, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. B. Müge Tunaer & Yaprak Gülcan, 2006. "Measuring Returns to Education in Turkey," Papers of the Annual IUE-SUNY Cortland Conference in Economics, in: Proceedings of the Conference on Human and Economic Resources, pages 66-71 Izmir University of Economics.
  15. Livanos, Ilias & Pouliakas, Konstantinos, 2008. "Returns to education by academic discipline in the Greek labour market," MPRA Paper 14159, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  16. Nattavudh Powdthavee & Anna Vignoles, 2006. "Using rate of return analyses to understand sector skill needs," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19408, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

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