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The Private and Fiscal Returns to Schooling in the European Union


  • Angel de la Fuente
  • Juan Francisco Jimeno


We present estimates of the private and fiscal returns to schooling in 14 European Union countries. Estimates of the private returns to post-compulsory formal education take into account the effects of schooling on wages and employment probabilities and allow for academic failure rates, the direct and opportunity costs of education, and the impact of personal taxes, social security contributions, and unemployment and pension benefits on lifetime earnings. Estimates of fiscal returns capture the long-term effects of a marginal increase in average educational attainment on public finances under conditions that approximate general equilibrium. (JEL: I20, J31, H60). (c) 2009 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Angel de la Fuente & Juan Francisco Jimeno, 2009. "The Private and Fiscal Returns to Schooling in the European Union," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(6), pages 1319-1360, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:7:y:2009:i:6:p:1319-1360

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Inmaculada García-Mainar & Víctor M. Montuenga-Gómez, 2017. "Subjective educational mismatch and signalling in Spain," Documentos de Trabajo dt2017-03, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza.
    2. Darragh Flannery & Cathal O'Donoghue, 2012. "Utilising microsimulation to estimate new marginal returns to education: Ireland 1987-2011," Working Papers WP042012, University of Limerick, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2012.
    3. Pfeiffer Friedhelm & Stichnoth Holger, 2015. "Fiskalische und individuelle Bildungsrenditen – aktuelle Befunde für Deutschland," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 16(4), pages 393-411, December.
    4. Bonin, Holger, 2017. "Report No. 75: The Potential Economic Benefits of Education of Migrants in the EU," IZA Research Reports 75, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Carrasco, Raquel & Jimeno, Juan F. & Ortega, Ana Carolina, 2012. "Declining returns to skill and the distribution of wages : Spain 1995-2006," UC3M Working papers. Economics we1231, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    6. Darragh Flannery & Cathal O'Donoghue, 2016. "Utilizing Microsimulation to Estimate the Private and Fiscal Returns to Education: Ireland 1987–2011," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 84(1), pages 55-80, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • H60 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - General


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