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Does it pay to attend a prestigious university?


  • Arnaud Chevalier
  • Gavan Conlon


This paper provides evidence of heterogeneity in the returns to higher education in the UK. Attending the most prestigious universities leads to a wage premium of up to 6% for males. The rise in participation in higher education also led to a greater sorting of students and an increase in the returns to quality. These results somehow justify the recent introduction of top-up fees. Additionally, identification strategy matters and OLS estimates may be severely biased. However, our estimates, based on propensity score matching, are imprecise due to the thinness of the common support.
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Suggested Citation

  • Arnaud Chevalier & Gavan Conlon, 2003. "Does it pay to attend a prestigious university?," CEE Discussion Papers 0033, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:0033

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Belfield, C. R. & Fielding, A., 2001. "Measuring the relationship between resources and outcomes in higher education in the UK," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 589-602, December.
    2. John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi, 2000. "Educational Choice, Families, and Young People's Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 143-176.
    3. Kermit Daniel & Dan Black & Jeffery Smith, 1996. "College Quality and the Wages of Young Men," HEW 9604001, EconWPA.
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    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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