IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Rising Supply of College Graduates and Declining Returns for Young Cohort: The Case of Korea


  • Kang-Shik Choi
  • Jin-Ho Jeong
  • Jin Hwa Jung


This study analysed the effect of an increase in the supply of youth college graduates, in terms of the return on education. The rate of return on education in Korea substantially dropped from 1983 to 1994. Since then, however, the declining trend of the rate of return on education stopped and turned upward. The rate of return has declined especially for college graduates, and such a decline has been most prominent for young cohorts, among college graduates, since 1987. The observed trend of the rate of return appears to be related to the sharp increase of labour supply of college graduates since the mid 1980s. The elasticity of substitution between education levels and age groups was estimated in this study, using a generalized demand-supply model. The effects of relative supply of college graduates (as a whole and by age) on the relative wages of college graduates by age were analysed under the assumption of constant skill-biased technological change. As it turned out, the relative college graduates' labour supply of each age group had large bearings upon relative wages of each corresponding group, while the relative labour supply of all college graduates did not. It implies that labour is an imperfect substitute, not only between education levels but also between age groups. Thus, as youth college graduates' supply increases, there needs to be a corresponding demand increase for them, to avoid the drop in the wage or employment level for them. Therefore, to tackle with the issues of youth labour market, such as youth unemployment, separate policies targeting the youth group are called for.

Suggested Citation

  • Kang-Shik Choi & Jin-Ho Jeong & Jin Hwa Jung, 2005. "The Rising Supply of College Graduates and Declining Returns for Young Cohort: The Case of Korea," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 167-180.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:glecrv:v:34:y:2005:i:2:p:167-180
    DOI: 10.1080/12265080500117459

    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.


    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:glecrv:v:34:y:2005:i:2:p:167-180. 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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.