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Graduates and graduate labour markets in the UK and Italy


  • G. Boero


  • A. Mcknight
  • R. Naylor


  • J. Smith


In the context of policy reforms in Higher Education in both the UK and Italy, we review recent evidence on student outcomes in higher education and subsequent transitions into the labour market for both these countries. We also provide the results of some new analysis for each of the two and, among other things, show that pre-university qualifications are strong influences on degree performance in both countries but that, unlike the UK, Italian university graduate earnings are largely insensitive to measured educational performance. Length of time taken to graduate in Italy exerts a significant negative effect both on degree performance and on graduate earnings. Similarly, being over-qualified for one's job is associated with a 5% pay penalty. Finally, we make recommendations regarding possible data improvements to enhance the policy usefulness of the analyses for each of the two countries.

Suggested Citation

  • G. Boero & A. Mcknight & R. Naylor & J. Smith, 2001. "Graduates and graduate labour markets in the UK and Italy," Working Paper CRENoS 200111, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  • Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:200111

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dolton, Peter J & Greenaway, David & Vignoles, Anna, 1997. "'Whither Higher Education?' An Economic Perspective for the Dearing Committee of Inquiry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 710-726, May.
    2. Jeremy P. Smith & Robin A. Naylor, 2001. "Dropping out of university: A statistical analysis of the probability of withdrawal for UK university students," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 164(2), pages 389-405.
    3. Massimiliano Bratti & Stefano Staffolani, 2001. "Performance accademica e scelta della facoltà universitaria: aspetti teorici e evidenza empirica," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 91(6), pages 203-244, July-Augu.
    4. Arulampalam, Wiji & Naylor, Robin & Smith, Jeremy, 2001. "A Hazard Model of the Probability of Medical School Dropout in the United Kingdom," IZA Discussion Papers 333, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Arulampalam, W. & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2002. "University of Warwick," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 9, Royal Economic Society.
    6. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1992. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(1), pages 1-40, February.
    7. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Barra, Cristian & Lagravinese, Raffaele & Zotti, Roberto, 2015. "Explaining (in)efficiency in higher education: a comparison of parametric and non-parametric analyses to rank universities," MPRA Paper 67119, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Daniele Checchi & Giuseppe Bertola, 2001. "Sorting and private education in Italy," Departmental Working Papers 2001-21, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    3. Agasisti, Tommaso & Barra, Cristian & Zotti, Roberto, 2016. "Evaluating the efficiency of Italian public universities (2008–2011) in presence of (unobserved) heterogeneity," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 47-58.
    4. Paola Giuliano, 2008. "Culture and the Family: An Application to Educational Choices in Italy," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 98(4), pages 3-38, July-Augu.
    5. Andrea Cammelli, 2012. "Consolidamento ed eterogeneità nelle esperienze di studio dei laureati italiani," Working Papers 49, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
    6. G. Boero & T. Laureti & R. Naylor, 2005. "An econometric analysis of student withdrawal and progression in post-reform Italian Universities," Working Paper CRENoS 200504, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    7. Ciriaci, Daria & Muscio, Alessandro, 2010. "Does university choice drive graduates’ employability?," MPRA Paper 22846, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Lorenzo Cappellari, 2004. "High school types, academic performance and early labour market outcomes," CHILD Working Papers wp03_04, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
    9. Zotti, Roberto & Barra, Cristian, 2014. "Human capital development, knowledge spillovers and local growth: Is there a quality effect of university efficiency?," MPRA Paper 60065, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Tommaso Agasisti & Cristian Barra & Roberto Zotti, 2017. "Research, knowledge transfer and innovation: the effect of Italian universities’ efficiency on the local economic development 2006-2012," Working papers 60, Società Italiana di Economia Pubblica.
    11. Patrizia Ordine & Claudio Lupi, 2009. "Family Income and Students' Mobility," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 68(1), pages 1-23, April.
    12. Barra, Cristian & Zotti, Roberto, 2014. "Handling negative data using Data Envelopment Analysis: a directional distance approach applied to higher education," MPRA Paper 55570, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Zotti, Roberto & Barra, Cristian, 2014. "How students' exogenous characteristics affect faculties’ inefficiency. A heteroscedastic stochastic frontier approach," MPRA Paper 54011, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. G. Marletto, 2006. "La politica dei trasporti come politica per l'innovazione: spunti da un approccio evolutivo," Working Paper CRENoS 200605, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    15. Giuseppe Bertola & Pietro Garibaldi, 2003. "The Structure and History of Italian Unemployment," CESifo Working Paper Series 907, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item


    graduates; degree performance; graduate labour markets;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs


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