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Rates of Return to Degrees across British Regions

Author

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  • O'Leary, Nigel C.

    () (Swansea University)

  • Sloane, Peter J.

    () (Swansea University)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • O'Leary, Nigel C. & Sloane, Peter J., 2006. "Rates of Return to Degrees across British Regions," IZA Discussion Papers 1947, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1947
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ciccone, Antonio, 2002. "Agglomeration effects in Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 213-227, February.
    2. 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.
    3. 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 82-99, February.
    4. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    5. Weale, Martin, 1993. "A Critical Evaluation of Rate of Return Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(418), pages 729-737, May.
    6. Nigel C. O’Leary & Peter J. Sloane, 2005. "The Return to a University Education in Great Britain," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 193(1), pages 75-89, July.
    7. 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 510-527, June.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Yun, Myeong-Su, 2004. "Decomposing differences in the first moment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 275-280, February.
    11. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:empeco:v:52:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1122-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Hermannsson, Kristinn & Lisenkova, Katerina & Lecca, Patrizio & McGregor, Peter G & Swales, J Kim, 2010. "The Importance of Graduates for the Scottish Economy: A Micro-to-Macro Approach," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-80, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    3. Kidd, Michael & O'Leary, Nigel C. & Sloane, Peter J., 2014. "Should I Stay or Should I Go? An Investigation of Graduate Regional Mobility in the UK and its Impact upon Early Career Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 8325, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Kidd, Michael P. & O'Leary, Nigel & Sloane, Peter, 2017. "The impact of mobility on early career earnings: A quantile regression approach for UK graduates," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 90-102.
    5. Cinzia Rienzo, 2017. "Real wages, wage inequality and the regional cost-of-living in the UK," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 52(4), pages 1309-1335, June.
    6. Pamela Lenton, 2011. "Part time employment and happiness: A cross-country analysis," Working Papers 2011001, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2011.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; degree; rates of return; regions;

    JEL classification:

    • A22 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Undergraduate
    • A23 - General Economics and Teaching - - Economic Education and Teaching of Economics - - - Graduate
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics

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