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Educational Qualifications and Wage Inequality: Evidence for Europe

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  • Budría, Santiago

    () (Universidad Pontificia Comillas)

  • Pereira, Pedro T.

    () (University of Madeira)

Abstract

This paper explores the connection between education and wage inequality in nine European countries. We exploit the quantile regression technique to calculate returns to lower secondary, upper secondary and tertiary education at different points of the wage distribution. We find that returns to tertiary education are highly increasing when moving from the lower to the upper quantiles. This finding suggests that an educational expansion towards tertiary education is expected, ceteris paribus, to increase overall wage inequality through the withindimension. Returns to secondary education are more homogeneous across quantiles, thus suggesting that an educational expansion towards secondary education is expected to have a more limited impact on within-groups dispersion. Using data from the last decades, we assess how the impact of education on wage inequality has evolved over time. We detect different trends across countries. A common feature is that the inequality increasing effect of tertiary education became more acute over the last years.

Suggested Citation

  • Budría, Santiago & Pereira, Pedro T., 2005. "Educational Qualifications and Wage Inequality: Evidence for Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1763, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1763
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    Cited by:

    1. Aysit Tansel & Fatma Bircan Bodur, 2012. "Wage Inequality and Returns to Education in Turkey: A Quantile Regression Analysis," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 107-121, February.
    2. Hugo Figueiredo & Pedro Teixeira & Jill Rubery, 2011. "Is Mass Higher Education Working? An Update and a Reflection on the Sustainability of Higher Education Expansion in Portugal," Working Papers 14, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
    3. Gernandt Johannes & Pfeiffer Friedhelm, 2007. "Rising Wage Inequality in Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 227(4), pages 358-380, August.
    4. Budría, Santiago & Moro-Egido, Ana I., 2008. "Education, educational mismatch, and wage inequality: Evidence for Spain," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 332-341, June.
    5. Biagetti, Marco & Scicchitano, Sergio, 2009. "Wage inequality and returns to schooling in Europe: a semi-parametric approach using EU-SILC data," MPRA Paper 19060, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Wiji Arulampalam & Alison Booth & Mark Bryan, 2010. "Are there asymmetries in the effects of training on the conditional male wage distribution?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(1), pages 251-272, January.
    7. Stefan Gravemeyer & Thomas Gries, 2010. "Income and disparity in Germany and China," Working Papers CIE 30, Paderborn University, CIE Center for International Economics.
    8. Maria da Conceição Figueiredo & Elsa Fontainha, 2015. "Male and Female Wage Functions: A Quantile Regression Analysis using LEED and LFS Portuguese Databases," Working Papers Department of Economics 2015/01, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, Universidade de Lisboa.
    9. Marco Biagetti & Sergio Scicchitano, 2011. "Education and wage inequality in Europe," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(3), pages 2620-2628.
    10. Santiago Budria, 2010. "Schooling and the distribution of wages in the European private and public sectors," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(8), pages 1045-1054.
    11. Concetta Mendolicchio & Thomas Rhein, 2014. "The gender gap of returns on education across West European countries," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(3), pages 219-249, May.
    12. Corrado Andini, 2010. "A dynamic Mincer equation with an application to Portuguese data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(16), pages 2091-2098.
    13. Harry Patrinos & Cristobal Ridao-Cano & Chris Sakellariou, 2009. "A note on schooling and wage inequality in the public and private sector," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 383-392, October.
    14. Jean-Marc Fournier & Isabell Koske, 2012. "Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are they Compatible? Part 7. The Drivers of Labour Earnings Inequality – An Analysis Based on Conditional and Unconditional Quantile Regressions," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 930, OECD Publishing.
    15. Jean-Marc Fournier & Isabell Koske, 2012. "The determinants of earnings inequality: evidence from quantile regressions," OECD Journal: Economic Studies, OECD Publishing, vol. 2012(1), pages 7-36.
    16. Marco Biagetti & Sergio Scicchitano, 2012. "Returns to Schooling in Europe: Evidence From Quantile Regression on EU-SILC Data," Journal of Knowledge Management, Economics and Information Technology, ScientificPapers.org, vol. 2(5), pages 1-9, October.
    17. Chletsos, Michael & Roupakias, Stelios, 2018. "Education and wage inequality before and during the fiscal crisis: A quantile regression analysis for Greece 2006-2016," MPRA Paper 87633, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Fasih, Tazeen & Kingdon, Geeta & Patrinos, Harry Anthony & Sakellariou, Chris & Soderbom, Mans, 2012. "Heterogeneous returns to education in the labor market," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6170, The World Bank.
    19. Patrinos, Harry Anthony & Ridao-Cano, Cris & Sakellariou, Chris, 2006. "Estimating the returns to education : accounting for heterogeneity in ability," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4040, The World Bank.
    20. Rafal Kierzenkowski & Isabell Koske, 2012. "Less Income Inequality and More Growth – Are they Compatible? Part 8. The Drivers of Labour Income Inequality – A Literature Review," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 931, OECD Publishing.
    21. Maria Denisa VASILESCU & Larisa STANILA & Amalia CRISTESCU, 2014. "The evolution of earnings inequality in Romania," Romanian Journal of Economics, Institute of National Economy, vol. 39(2(48)), pages 88-99, December.
    22. Montserrat Hernández-LÓPEZ & José Juan Cáceres-HERNÁNDEZ, 2016. "Forecasting The Composition Of Demand For Higher Education Degrees By Genetic Algorithms," ECONOMIC COMPUTATION AND ECONOMIC CYBERNETICS STUDIES AND RESEARCH, Faculty of Economic Cybernetics, Statistics and Informatics, vol. 50(3), pages 153-172.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    wage inequality; quantile regression; returns to education;

    JEL classification:

    • C29 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Other
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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