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Rates of Return to Degrees across British Regions

  • O'Leary, Nigel C.

    ()

    (Swansea University)

  • Sloane, Peter J.

    ()

    (Swansea University)

Earlier papers have found considerable heterogeneity in the returns to degrees in relation to subjects of study, degree classification and higher education institution. In this paper we examine heterogeneity of returns across British regions using the Labour Force Survey. We find substantial variations in the financial rewards available to graduates across regions with much higher returns in London and the South East than elsewhere, although adjusting for regional differences in the cost-of-living narrows such differences considerably. Decompositional analysis, after controlling for regional differences in both occupational and industrial structures, suggests that coefficient effects dominate composition effects, consistent with agglomeration effects being important. These results have implications for the recent changes to student funding in England, Scotland and Wales.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1947.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Regional Studies, 2008, 42(2), 199-213
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1947
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  1. Ronald Oaxaca, 1971. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," Working Papers 396, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Yun, Myeong-Su, 2003. "Decomposing Differences in the First Moment," IZA Discussion Papers 877, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. H. Battu & C. R. Belfield & P. J. Sloane, 1999. "Overeducation Among Graduates: a cohort view," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 21-38.
  4. F. L. Jones, 1983. "On Decomposing the Wage Gap: A Critical Comment on Blinder's Method," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(1), pages 126-130.
  5. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  6. Ciccone, Antonio, 2002. "Agglomeration effects in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 213-227, February.
  7. Weale, Martin, 1993. "A Critical Evaluation of Rate of Return Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(418), pages 729-37, May.
  8. Blundell, Richard, et al, 2000. "The Returns to Higher Education in Britain: Evidence from a British Cohort," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(461), pages F82-99, February.
  9. Sloane, Peter J. & O'Leary, Nigel C., 2004. "The Return to a University Education in Great Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 1199, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Enrico Moretti, 2004. "Workers' Education, Spillovers, and Productivity: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 656-690, June.
  11. Blackaby, D H & Manning, D N, 1990. "The North-South Divide: Questions of Existence and Stability?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(401), pages 510-27, June.
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