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The returns for education for the United Kingdom



This paper uses data from the General Household Survey to examine the economic returns to education between 1985 and 2003 for men and women in the UK. The evidence suggests that the returns to education have increased for men and declined for women. Quantile regression estimates illustrate that younger workers have come to experience more unequal returns to education across the conditional earnings distribution. The evidence suggests that both time spent in education and educational credentials are important in explaining earnings with higher qualifications always conveying higher earnings, holding years of schooling constant.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary A. Silles, 2007. "The returns for education for the United Kingdom," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 10, pages 391-413, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cem:jaecon:v:10:y:2007:n:2:p:391-413

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 2002. "Earnings Dispersion, Risk Aversion and Education," CEPR Discussion Papers 3600, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Li, Tong, 2000. "Estimation of nonlinear errors-in-variables models: a simulated minimum distance estimator," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 243-248, April.
    3. Amemiya, Yasuo, 1985. "Instrumental variable estimator for the nonlinear errors-in-variables model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 273-289, June.
    4. Shigeru Iwata, 2001. "Recentered And Rescaled Instrumental Variable Estimation Of Tobit And Probit Models With Errors In Variables," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(3), pages 319-335.
    5. Hartog, Joop & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Jonker, Nicole, 2002. "Linking Measured Risk Aversion to Individual Characteristics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 3-26.
    6. Williams, Joseph T, 1979. "Uncertainty and the Accumulation of Human Capital over the Life Cycle," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 521-548, October.
    7. Stacey Chen, 2001. "Is Investing in College Education Risky?," Discussion Papers 01-09, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    8. Levhari, David & Weiss, Yoram, 1974. "The Effect of Risk on the Investment in Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 950-963, December.
    9. Hogan, Vincent & Ian Walker, 2002. "Education Choice under Uncertainty," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 103, Royal Economic Society.
    10. Li, Tong & Hsiao, Cheng, 2004. "Robust estimation of generalized linear models with measurement errors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 118(1-2), pages 51-65.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michaelsen, Maren M., 2011. "The Hidden Increase in Wage Inequality: Skill-biased and Ability-biased Technological Change," Ruhr Economic Papers 262, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. Philip Ball & Ralf Wilke, "undated". "Job seeker's allowance in Great Britain: How does the regional labour market affect the duration until job finding?," Discussion Papers 09/03, University of Nottingham, School of Economics.
    3. repec:zbw:rwirep:0262 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Maren M. Michaelsen, 2011. "The Hidden Increase in Wage Inequality: Skill-biased and Ability-biased Technological Change," Ruhr Economic Papers 0262, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

    More about this item


    schooling; earnings; sheepskin effects;

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


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