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Differences by degree: Evidence of the net financial rates of return to undergraduate study for England and Wales

  • Walker, Ian
  • Zhu, Yu

This paper provides estimates of the impact of higher education qualifications on the earnings of graduates in the U.K. by subject studied. We use data from the recent U.K. Labour Force Surveys which provide a sufficiently large sample to consider the effects of the subject studied, class of first degree, and postgraduate qualifications. Ordinary Least Squares estimates show high average returns for women that does not differ by subject. For men, we find very large returns for Law, Economics and Management but not for other subjects. Degree class has large effects in all subjects suggesting the possibility of large returns to effort. Postgraduate study has large effects, independently of first degree class.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272775711000033
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 30 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 1177-1186

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:6:p:1177-1186
DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2011.01.002
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek & Bas van der Klaauw, 2006. "The effect of financial rewards on students' achievement: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Artefactual Field Experiments 00078, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Todd, Petra E., 2008. "Earnings Functions and Rates of Return," IZA Discussion Papers 3310, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Montmarquette, C. & Cannings, C. & Mahseredjian,S., 1997. "How do Young People Choose College Majors?," Cahiers de recherche 9719, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  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. Montmarquette, Claude & Mahseredjian, Sophie & Houle, Rachel, 2001. "The determinants of university dropouts: a bivariate probability model with sample selection," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 475-484, October.
  6. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2008. "The College Wage Premium and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK," Studies in Economics 0809, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  7. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2009. "The Changing Selectivity of American Colleges," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(4), pages 95-118, Fall.
  8. Hussain, Iftikhar & McNally, Sandra & Telhaj, Shqiponja, 2009. "University Quality and Graduate Wages in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 4043, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Sloane, Peter J. & O'Leary, Nigel C., 2004. "The Return to a University Education in Great Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 1199, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. V. Joseph Hotz & Peter Arcidiacono & Songman Kang, 2010. "Modeling College Major Choices Using Elicited Measures of Expectations and Counterfactuals," Working Papers 10-30, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. Eide, Eric & Brewer, Dominic J. & Ehrenberg, Ronald G., 1998. "Does it pay to attend an elite private college? Evidence on the effects of undergraduate college quality on graduate school attendance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 371-376, October.
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