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Are Austrian returns to education falling over time?

  • Fersterer, Josef
  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf

In this paper we make a systematic presentation of returns to education in Austria for the period 1981-1997. We use consistent cross-sections from the Mikrozensus and find falling returns over time. These falling returns are not caused by changes in the sample design and reduced willingness to reveal personal incomes in the survey. Moreover, it is shown that especially returns to university education have fallen. If the focus is not on mean returns, but if we apply quartile regression techniques, interesting patterns emerge: returns are falling the most in the lowest quartiles, but remain almost constant in the highest quartiles. The overall picture of falling returns is consistent with a rise in the supply of well-educated workers in the past two decades.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 10 (2003)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 73-89

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:10:y:2003:i:1:p:73-89
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  1. Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. ""Overeducation" in the Labor Market," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(2), pages 101-22, April.
  2. Ichino, Andrea & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Lower and upper bounds of returns to schooling: An exercise in IV estimation with different instruments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 889-901, April.
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  4. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
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  8. Andrea Ichino & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2004. "The Long-Run Educational Cost of World War II," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 57-86, January.
  9. Hungerford, Thomas & Solon, Gary, 1987. "Sheepskin Effects in the Returns to Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 175-77, February.
  10. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  11. Goldin, Claudia, 1998. "America's Graduation from High School: The Evolution and Spread of Secondary Schooling in the Twentieth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(02), pages 345-374, June.
  12. Zweimuller, Jopsef & Winter- Ebmer, Rudolf, 1993. "Gender Wage Differentials in Private and Public Sector Jobs," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt7ps0140j, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  13. Mwabu, Germano & Schultz, T Paul, 1996. "Education Returns across Quantiles of the Wage Function: Alternative Explanations for Returns to Education by Race in South Africa," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 335-39, May.
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