IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Returns to Education across Europe


  • Glocker, Daniela
  • Steiner, Viktor


Incentives to invest in higher education are affected by both the direct wage effect of human capital investments and the indirect wage effect resulting from lower unemployment risks and shorter spells in unemployment associated with higher educated. We analyse the returns to education in Austria, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom, countries which differ significantly regarding both their education systems and labour market structure. We estimate augmented Mincerian wage equations accounting for the effects of unemployment on individual wages using EU-SILC data. Across countries we find a high variation of the effect of education on unemployment duration. Overall, the returns to education are estimated to be the highest in the UK, and the lowest for Sweden. A wage decrease due to time spent in unemployment results in a decline in the hourly wages in Austria, Germany and Italy.

Suggested Citation

  • Glocker, Daniela & Steiner, Viktor, 2011. "Returns to Education across Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 8568, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8568

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ashenfelter, Orley & Ham, John, 1979. "Education, Unemployment, and Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 99-116, October.
    2. Mikael Lindahl & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Education for Growth: Why and for Whom?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1101-1136, December.
    3. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2012. "Financial Student Aid and Enrollment in Higher Education: New Evidence from Germany," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(1), pages 124-147, March.
    4. Frank Fossen & Daniela Glocker, 2011. "Expected future earnings, taxation, and university enrollment," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(6), pages 688-723, December.
    5. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. António Morgado & Tiago Neves Sequeira & Marcelo Santos & Alexandra Ferreira-Lopes & Ana Balcão Reis, 2016. "Measuring Labour Mismatch in Europe," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 161-179, October.
    2. Schlenker, Eva, 2013. "The Labour Supply of Women in STEM," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79981, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Frauke H. Peter & Vaishali Zambre, 2014. "Wer studiert, ist informiert?: Studienentscheidungen und Informationsdefizite," DIW Roundup: Politik im Fokus 35, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item


    EU-SILC; returns to education; unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:cpr:ceprdp:8568. 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: (). 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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.