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Unequal futures? Mass higher education and graduates' relative earnings in Portugal, 1995--2009


  • Hugo Figueiredo
  • Pedro Teixeira
  • Jill Rubery


This article analyses the evolution of relative earnings premiums for young university graduates in Portugal (1995--2009), suggesting that the previous picture of a successful transition towards mass higher education changed significantly. Our results indicate a decline in the average premium and an increasing dispersion in the returns to higher education. The relative position of graduates at the top of the wage distribution, in jobs in which the majority of workers have a degree, has, however, remained stable. These trends raise the risk of increasing expectations mismatches among recent graduate cohorts.

Suggested Citation

  • Hugo Figueiredo & Pedro Teixeira & Jill Rubery, 2013. "Unequal futures? Mass higher education and graduates' relative earnings in Portugal, 1995--2009," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(10), pages 991-997, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apeclt:v:20:y:2013:i:10:p:991-997
    DOI: 10.1080/13504851.2013.770119

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Brown, Phillip & Lauder, Hugh & Ashton, David, 2011. "The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs, and Incomes," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199731688.
    3. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, Juni.
    4. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Age and Experience Profiles of Earnings," NBER Chapters, in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 64-82, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. David Ashton & Francis Green, 1996. "Education, Training and the Global Economy," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 914.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francis Green & Golo Henseke, 2016. "The changing graduate labour market: analysis using a new indicator of graduate jobs," IZA Journal of Labor Policy, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, December.
    2. Bilal Barakat & Robin Shields, 2019. "Just Another Level? Comparing Quantitative Patterns of Global Expansion of School and Higher Education Attainment," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(3), pages 917-934, June.

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