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Returns to Postgraduate Education in Portugal: Holding on to a Higher Ground?

Listed author(s):
  • Almeida, Andre

    ()

    (CIPES – Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies)

  • Figueiredo, Hugo

    ()

    (CIPES – Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies)

  • Cerejeira, João

    ()

    (University of Minho)

  • Portela, Miguel

    ()

    (University of Minho)

  • Sá, Carla

    ()

    (University of Minho)

  • Teixeira, Pedro N.

    ()

    (University of Porto)

Registered author(s):

    In this paper we use a large official employer-employee dataset, which includes almost the whole universe of business firms, to document and decompose the rising graduates postgraduates' wage differentials in Portugal. Using a non-parametric matching exercise, we pay particular attention to differences in the assignment of these two groups of workers across occupations and tasks. This allows us to disentangle different sources of postgraduates' relative earnings and look at the creation of postgraduate jobs. We further look, however, at displacement and deskilling effects due to relative demand inertia as possible sources of such evolution of the relative earnings. Our results show that both displacement and deskilling effects, particularly of graduates with only a first-degree, appear to be at least as important as direct productivity effects in explaining postgraduates premiums. We also conclude that the relative importance of the former has been steadily increasing overtime and that, on the contrary, the net creation of high-paying, postgraduate-only jobs has been relatively modest. This suggests that postgraduate degrees have largely worked as a way of holding on to a higher ground in the labour market.

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    Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10676.

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    Length: 52 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2017
    Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10676
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    1. Paul Beaudry & David A. Green & Benjamin M. Sand, 2016. "The Great Reversal in the Demand for Skill and Cognitive Tasks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 199-247.
    2. Burgess, Simon, 2016. "Human Capital and Education: The State of the Art in the Economics of Education," IZA Discussion Papers 9885, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
    4. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Jeremy C. Stein, 2008. "Academic freedom, private-sector focus, and the process of innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(3), pages 617-635.
    5. Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U. S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-397.
    6. Cardoso, Ana Rute, 2007. "Jobs for young university graduates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 271-277, February.
    7. Peter Elias & Kate Purcell, 2004. "Is Mass Higher Education Working? Evidence from the Labour Market Experiences of Recent Graduates," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 190(1), pages 60-74, October.
    8. Mário Centeno & Álvaro Novo, 2014. "When supply meets demand: wage inequality in Portugal," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-20, December.
    9. Brown, Phillip & Lauder, Hugh & Ashton, David, 2011. "The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs, and Incomes," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199731688, April.
    10. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
    11. Arrow, Kenneth J., 1973. "Higher education as a filter," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 193-216, July.
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