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Corporate Job Ladders in Europe: Wage Premia for University vs. High School Level Positions

  • Mellander, Erik


    (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

  • Skedinger, Per


    (The Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

Investment in human capital is a central issue in the literature on economic growth. The purpose of this study is to shed light on the economic incentives for investment in university education across countries. An empirical investigation of earnings for private-sector engineers and business administrators in seven European countries - Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom - is presented. The analysis is based on a large micro-data set that is ideally suited for international comparisons. It contains information on earnings, age, occupation, responsibility level, industry and firm size. Standardized wage premia for university vs. high school level positions are computed for each country and field of work. The results indicate that the wage premia are higher for business administrators than for engineers in all the countries considered and that the premia for engineers are remarkably similar across countries. Aggregation over fields of work, which is not uncommon in studies on the returns to education, therefore seems to be questionable practice when comparing the returns in different countries.

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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 495.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 01 Mar 1998
Date of revision: 25 Aug 1999
Publication status: Forthcoming in Swedish Economic Policy Review, 1999.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0495
Contact details of provider: Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 665 4500
Fax: +46 8 665 4599
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  1. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-59, October.
  2. Zvi Griliches, 1970. "Notes on the Role of Education in Production Functions and Growth Accounting," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Income, and Human Capital, pages 71-127 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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