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The labor market returns to ‘first in family’ university graduates

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  • Anna Adamecz-Völgyi

    (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies (KRTK KRTI), Toth Kalman u. 4, 1097 Budapest andUCL Social Research Institute, University College London, 27 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA)

  • Morag Henderson

    (UCL Social Research Institute, University College London, 27 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA)

  • Nikki Shure

    (UCL Social Research Institute, University College London, 27 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA and Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 5-9, D-53113 Bonn.)

Abstract

We examine how first in family (FiF) graduates (those whose parents do not have university degrees) fare on the labor market in England. We find that among women, FiF graduates earn 7.4% less on average than graduate women whose parents have a university degree. For men, we do not find a FiF wage penalty. A decomposition of the wage difference between FiF and non-FiF graduates reveals that FiF men earn higher returns on their endowments than non-FiF men and thus compensate for their relative social disadvantage, while FiF women do not. We also show that a substantial share of the graduate gender wage gap is due to, on the one hand, women being more likely to be FiF than men and, on the other hand, that the FiF wage gap is gendered. We provide some context, offer explanations, and suggest implications of these findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Adamecz-Völgyi & Morag Henderson & Nikki Shure, 2021. "The labor market returns to ‘first in family’ university graduates," CERS-IE WORKING PAPERS 2127, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:2127
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    socioeconomic gaps; intergenerational educational mobility; higher education; labor market returns; gender economics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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