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Has the Value of a Degree Fallen? Cross-Sectional versus Time-Series Evidence


  • Chia, Tai-Tee


Several authors have argued that the position of graduates in the labour market has deteriorated over the past 10 to 15 years. This has important policy implications, especially, at a time when the government is planning to expand the higher education system substantially, and to impose a special tax on tertiary students. This paper examines the evidence for the belief of falling returns to higher education. It shows how analyses of changes over time in rates of return estimated from single-period cross-sections can be misleading, and examines the performance of successive cohorts of new graduates in terms of their employment status, starting salaries, industry of employment, and the kinds of work they do. Copyright 1991 by The Economic Society of Australia.

Suggested Citation

  • Chia, Tai-Tee, 1991. "Has the Value of a Degree Fallen? Cross-Sectional versus Time-Series Evidence," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 0(0), pages 41-52, Supplemen.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecorec:v:0:y:1991:i:0:p:41-52

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter Dawkins & Paul Gregg & Rosanna Scutella, 2005. "Employment Polarisation in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(255), pages 336-350, December.
    2. Paul Gregg, 1996. "It Takes Two: Employment Polarisation in the OECD," CEP Discussion Papers dp0304, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. repec:nsr:niesrd:72 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Thierry Kamionka & Guy Lacroix, 2003. "Assessing the Impact of Non-Response on the Treatment Effect in the Canadian Self-Sufficiency Experiment," CIRANO Working Papers 2003s-62, CIRANO.
    5. Paul W. Miller, 1997. "The Burden of Unemployment on Family Units: An Overview," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 30(1), pages 16-30.
    6. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
    7. Andrew Dilnot & Michael Kell, 1987. "Male unemployment and women's work," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 8(3), pages 1-16, August.
    8. Robert Breunig & Deborah A. Cobb-Clark & Yvonne Dunlop & Marion Terrill, 2003. "Assisting the Long-Term Unemployed: Results from a Randomised Trial," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 79(244), pages 84-102, March.
    9. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity Score-Matching Methods For Nonexperimental Causal Studies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 151-161, February.
    10. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
    11. Israel, Mark & Seeborg, Michael, 1998. "The impact of youth characteristics and experiences on transitions out of poverty," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 753-776.
    12. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
    13. Peter Dawkins & Paul Gregg & Rosanna Scutella, 2002. "The Growth of Jobless Households in Australia," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 35(2), pages 133-154.
    14. James Heckman & Jeffrey Smith & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Accounting For Dropouts In Evaluations Of Social Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 1-14, February.
    15. Davies, Richard B & Elias, Peter & Penn, Roger, 1992. "The Relationship between a Husband's Unemployment and His Wife's Participation in the Labour Force," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 54(2), pages 145-171, May.
    16. Burt S Barnow, 2000. "Exploring the relationship between performance management and program impact: A case study of the job training partnership act," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 118-141.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeff Borland, 1996. "Earnings Inequality in Australia: Changes and Causes," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 05, McMaster University.
    2. Andrew D. Colegrave, 2006. "Why Study at a Mature Age? An Analysis of the Private Returns to Universtity Education in Australia," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 06-11, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.

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