IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Return to a University Education in Great Britain

  • Nigel C. O’Leary


  • Peter J. Sloane

In this paper, we estimate the rate of return to first degrees, Masters degrees and PhDs in Britain using data from the Labour Force Survey. We estimate returns to broad subject groups and more narrowly defined disciplines, distinguishing returns by gender and controlling for variations in student quality across disciplines. The results reveal considerable heterogeneity in returns to particular degree programmes and by gender, which have important policy implications for charging students for the costs of their education.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by National Institute of Economic and Social Research in its journal National Institute Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 193 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 75-89

in new window

Handle: RePEc:sae:niesru:v:193:y:2005:i:1:p:75-89
Contact details of provider: Postal: 2 Dean Trench Street, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HE
Phone: +44 (020) 7222 7665
Fax: +44 (020) 7654 1900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Chevalier, Arnaud, 2003. "Motivation, expectations and the gender pay gap for UK graduates," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 42, Royal Economic Society.
  2. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
  3. Sveinbjörn Blöndal & Simon Field & Nathalie Girouard, 2002. "Investment in Human Capital Through Post-Compulsory Education and Training: Selected Efficiency and Equity Aspects," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 333, OECD Publishing.
  4. Trostel, P. & Walker, I., 2000. "Education and Work," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 554, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Derek Leslie, 2003. "Using success to measure quality in British higher education: which subjects attract the best-qualified students?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 166(3), pages 329-347.
  6. David Greenaway & Michelle Haynes, 2003. "Funding Higher Education in The UK: The Role of Fees and Loans," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F150-F166, February.
  7. Pereira, Pedro T. & Martins, Pedro S., 2001. "Returns to Education and Wage Equations," IZA Discussion Papers 298, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Dan A. Black & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 2003. "The Economic Reward for Studying Economics," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 365-377, July.
  9. Machin, Stephen & Puhani, Patrick A., 2003. "Subject of degree and the gender wage differential: evidence from the UK and Germany," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 393-400, June.
  10. H. Battu & C. R. Belfield & P. J. Sloane, 1999. "Overeducation Among Graduates: a cohort view," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 21-38.
  11. D. H. Blackaby & P. D. Murphy & N. C. O'Leary, 1999. "Graduate earnings in Great Britain: a matter of degree?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(5), pages 311-315.
  12. Arnaud Chevalier & Gavan Conlon, 2003. "Does it pay to attend a prestigious university?," CEE Discussion Papers 0033, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  13. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:niesru:v:193:y:2005:i:1:p:75-89. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.