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Measuring the returns to lifelong learning

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  • Blanden, Jo
  • Buscha, Franz
  • Sturgis, Patrick
  • Urwin, Peter

Abstract

This paper investigates the returns to lifelong learning, which is interpreted as the attainment of qualifications following entry into the labour market. For a number of reasons our analysis of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) represents an important addition to the existing evidence base. We allow for financial and non-financial returns to lifelong learning by using as dependent variables both (i) hourly earnings and (ii) CAMSIS score. A fixed effects specification counters the potential biases that arise from unobserved individual heterogeneity and the inclusion of lags allows estimation of how the returns to lifelong learning evolve over a ten year period after the qualification is obtained. We find evidence of earnings and occupation status returns using a broad categorisation of lifelong learning for both men and women, but more variability in returns when disaggregated NVQ-equivalent categories of qualification are considered. Our findings are broadly in line with existing evidence within the UK, which is mostly based on the analysis of cohort studies. 0f particular interest is the finding that returns to women materialise much sooner after the attainment of a qualification, than is the case for their male counterparts.

Suggested Citation

  • Blanden, Jo & Buscha, Franz & Sturgis, Patrick & Urwin, Peter, 2010. "Measuring the returns to lifelong learning," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28282, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:28282
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Gylfi Zoega, 2003. "Unions, Work-Related Training, and Wages: Evidence for British Men," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(1), pages 68-91, October.
    2. Anna Vignoles & Augustin de Coulon, 2008. "An Analysis of the Benefit of NVQ2 Qualifications Acquired at Age 26-34," CEE Discussion Papers 0106, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    3. Stevens, Margaret, 2001. "Should Firms Be Required to Pay for Vocational Training?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 485-505, July.
    4. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2004. "Returns to investment in education: a further update," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 111-134.
    5. Dearden, Lorraine, et al, 2002. "The Returns to Academic and Vocational Qualifications in Britain," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(3), pages 249-274, July.
    6. Charley Greenwood & Andrew Jenkins & Anna Vignoles, 2007. "The Returns to Qualifications in England: Updating the Evidence Base on Level 2 and Level 3 Vocational Qualifications," CEE Discussion Papers 0089, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    7. Theodore W. Schultz, 1960. "Capital Formation by Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68, pages 571-571.
    8. Bassanini, Andrea & Booth, Alison L. & Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria & Leuven, Edwin, 2005. "Workplace Training in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1640, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Kane, Thomas J & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 1995. "Labor-Market Returns to Two- and Four-Year College," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 600-614, June.
    10. Stenberg, Anders & Westerlund, Olle, 2008. "Does comprehensive education work for the long-term unemployed," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 54-67, February.
    11. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352-352.
    12. Lorraine Dearden & Leslie McGranahan & Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "An In-Depth Analysis of the Returns to National Vocational Qualifications Obtained at level 2," CEE Discussion Papers 0046, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
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    Cited by:

    1. Agnieszka Chlon-Dominczak & Maciej Lis, 2013. "Does gender matter for lifelong learning activity?," IBS Working Papers 3/2013, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    2. Richard Dorsett & Silvia Lui & Martin Weale, 2016. "The effect of lifelong learning on men’s wages," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 737-762, September.
    3. Coelli, Michael & Tabasso, Domenico, 2015. "Where Are the Returns to Lifelong Learning?," IZA Discussion Papers 9509, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Dr Silvia Lui & Dr Martin Weale, 2012. "Education and its Effects on Survival, Income and Health of those aged Sixty-five and over in the United Kingdom," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 393, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
    5. Dr Silvia Lui & Dr Martin Weale, 2011. "Education and its Effects on the Income, Health and Survival of those aged Sixty-five and Over (This paper has been revised and is replaced by DP 393)," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 383, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

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    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General

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