IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Changes in the returns to schooling 1991-2002: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey


  • Seamus McGuinness
  • Jessica Bennett


The present paper uses British Household Panel Survey data from 1991 to 2002 to assess the extent to which labour market returns have been influenced by changes in the nature of educational supply. We find that whilst there have been substantial shifts in the returns to schooling over the period, these effects are much more pronounced for younger workers. The most notable change was the complete elimination of the premium for GCSE's over no qualifications for both males and females under 30 years old and the fall in the returns to vocational degrees for young males. The disappearance of the GCSE premium, which, it is argued, is linked to a rising demand for low-qualified workers, was found to temper the rise in inequality, while the rise in educational participation was found to substantially increase male graduate wage dispersion.

Suggested Citation

  • Seamus McGuinness & Jessica Bennett, 2009. "Changes in the returns to schooling 1991-2002: evidence from the British Household Panel Survey," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 167-184.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:17:y:2009:i:2:p:167-184
    DOI: 10.1080/09645290802133198

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Osberg, Lars, 2003. "Nobody to play with? The implications of leisure coordination," ISER Working Paper Series 2003-19, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Marzano, Elisabetta, 2003. "Looking for a job: is there any homogeneity among those not seeking work?," ISER Working Paper Series 2003-25, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Victoria Redwood & Merxe Tudela, 2004. "From tiny samples do mighty populations grow? Using the British Household Panel Survey to analyse the household sector balance sheet," Bank of England working papers 239, Bank of England.
    4. O'Leary, Nigel C. & Sloane, Peter J., 2005. "The Changing Wage Return to an Undergraduate Education," IZA Discussion Papers 1549, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Gabriele Ballarino & Massimiliano Bratti, 2009. "Field of Study and University Graduates' Early Employment Outcomes in Italy during 1995-2004," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 23(3), pages 421-457, September.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:edecon:v:17:y:2009:i:2:p:167-184. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.