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Education and earnings growth: evidence from 11 European countries


  • Brunello, Giorgio
  • Comi, Simona


We use cohort data from 11 European countries to study whether experience profiles differ by educational attainment. Previous literature does not provide a clear answer to this question, that is important to evaluate private returns to education over the working life of individuals. We find evidence that employees with tertiary education have steeper experience profiles than employees with upper secondary or compulsory education. Hence, education provides not only an initial labor market advantage but also a permanent advantage that increases with time in the labor market. We also find that differences in earnings growth by education are lower in countries with a higher level of corporatism and higher in countries which have experienced both relatively fast labor productivity growth and a relatively low educational attainment. The educational system also seems to matter, because countries with a more stratified system of secondary education have smaller differences in earnings growth by education.
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  • Brunello, Giorgio & Comi, Simona, 2004. "Education and earnings growth: evidence from 11 European countries," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 75-83, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:23:y:2004:i:1:p:75-83

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Elena Giarda, 2008. "The worsening of wage expectations in Italy: a study based on administrative data," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 64-87, March.
    2. Simone N. Tuor & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2010. "Risk-return trade-offs to different educational paths: vocational, academic and mixed," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(5), pages 495-519, August.
    3. Kampelmann, Stephan & Rycx, Francois, 2011. "Does Institutional Diversity Account for Pay Rules in Germany and Belgium?," IZA Discussion Papers 6010, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Angel de la Fuente & Juan Francisco Jimeno, 2004. "The private and fiscal returns to schooling and the effect of public policies on private incentives to invest in education: a general framework and some results for the EU," Working Papers 152, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    5. Matthew Calver, 2015. "Closing the Aboriginal Education Gap in Canada: Assessing Progress and Estimating the Economic Benefits," CSLS Research Reports 2015-03, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    6. Michael Landesmann & Sebastian Leitner & Robert Stehrer & Terry Ward, 2009. "Skills and Industrial Competitiveness," wiiw Research Reports 356, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.
    7. Hoogerheide, Lennart & Block, Joern H. & Thurik, Roy, 2012. "Family background variables as instruments for education in income regressions: A Bayesian analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 515-523.
    8. Abrar ul haq, Muhammad & Mehtab, Nadia & Khan, Tasneem, 2012. "Gender Disparity in Economic Returns to Higher Education: Evidence from Private Formal Sector of Bahawalpur (Pakistan)," MPRA Paper 62958, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2012.
    9. Angel de la Fuente & Antonio Ciccone, 2003. "Human capital in a global and knowledge-based economy," Working Papers 70, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    10. Colleen K. Chrisinger, 2013. "Earnings Progression and the Workforce Investment Act: Evidence from Washington State," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 853-877, October.
    11. Domeland, Dorte, 2007. "Trade and human capital accumulation: evidence from U.S. immigrants," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4144, The World Bank.
    12. Astri Muren & Sten Nyberg, 2005. "Young Liberals and Old Conservatives - Inequality, Mobility and Redistribution," CESifo Working Paper Series 1581, CESifo Group Munich.
    13. Piekkola, Hannu, 2005. "Knowledge Capital as the Source of Growth," Discussion Papers 972, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    14. Joop Hartog & Hans van Ophem & Simona Maria Bajdechi, 2004. "How Risky is Investment in Human Capital?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-080/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    15. Claudia Münch & Sweder van Wijnbergen, 2009. "Education and Labor Market Activity of Women: An Age-Group Specific Empirical Analysis," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-099/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    16. Klaesson, Johan & Larsson, Hanna, 2009. "Wages, Productivity and Industry Composition – agglomeration economies in Swedish regions," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 203, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    17. Hamersma Sarah, 2013. "The Effects of Medicaid Earnings Limits on Earnings Growth among Poor Workers," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 13(2), pages 887-919, August.
    18. Nicholas Awuse & Patrick Tandoh-Offin, 2014. "What factors Influence Internal migration and Wage Growth?: an Empirical Analysis of Private Formal Sector in Bolgatanga-Ghana," Business and Economic Research, Macrothink Institute, vol. 4(1), pages 23-31, June.
    19. Peter Thompson & Mihaela Pintea, 2005. "Technological Complexity, R&D and Education: Some Pleasant Arithmetic," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 185, Society for Computational Economics.
    20. Zhelyazkova N., 2013. "Male use of parental leave in Luxembourg : empirical analysis of administrative records," MERIT Working Papers 045, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    21. Gómez Soler, Silvia C., 2016. "Educational achievement at schools: Assessing the effect of the civil conflict using a pseudo-panel of schools," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 91-106.
    22. Semeijn,Judith, H. & Velden,Rolf,van der & Heijke,Hans & Vleuten,Cees,van der & Boshuizen,Henny, P.A., 2005. "Competence indicators in academic education and early labour market success of graduates in health sciences," ROA Research Memorandum 003, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    23. Joop Hartog & Hans van Ophem & Simona Maria Bajdechi, 2004. "How Risky is Investment in Human Capital?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1261, CESifo Group Munich.
    24. Mihaela Iulia Pintea & Peter Thompson, 2007. "Technological Complexity and Economic Growth," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(2), pages 276-293, April.
    25. repec:esr:resser:bkmnext213 is not listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General


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