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High and steady or low and rising? Vocational versus general education in life-cycle earnings

In: Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 5


  • Harald Pfeifer

    () (Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB))

  • Ben Kriechel

    () (Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA))

  • Frank Cörvers

    () (Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA))

  • Hans Heijke

    () (Maastricht University)


In this paper, we compare experience-earnings profiles of employees with vocational and general education background in Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, three countries with fundamentally different education systems. Using Mixed-Effects Linear Regression Models we show that earnings of employees with vocational education are higher in the initial phase of their career. However, generally educated catch up over the time on the labor market. Lifecycle differences in earnings are more pronounced in Germany and the United Kingdom than in the Netherlands.

Suggested Citation

  • Harald Pfeifer & Ben Kriechel & Frank Cörvers & Hans Heijke, 2010. "High and steady or low and rising? Vocational versus general education in life-cycle earnings," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 5,in: María Jesús Mancebón-Torrubia & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & José María Gómez-Sancho & Gregorio Gim (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 5, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 47, pages 931-948 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
  • Handle: RePEc:aec:ieed05:05-47

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    More about this item


    Education Systems; Human Capital; Earnings Profiles;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


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