IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Changing Economic Advantage from Private School

  • Green, Francis


    (Institute of Education, University of London)

  • Machin, Stephen


    (London School of Economics)

  • Murphy, Richard


    (CEP, London School of Economics)

  • Zhu, Yu


    (University of Dundee)

Despite its relatively small size, the private school sector plays a prominent role in British society. This paper focuses on changing wage and education differentials between privately educated and state educated individuals in Britain. It reports evidence that the private/state school wage differential has risen significantly over time, despite the rising cost to sending children to private school. A significant factor underpinning this has been faster rising educational attainment for privately educated individuals. Despite these patterns of change, the proportion attending private school has not altered much, nor have the characteristics of those children (and their parents) attending private school. Taken together, our findings are consistent with the idea that the private school sector has been successful in transforming its ability to generate the academic outputs that are most in demand in the modern economy. Because of the increased earnings advantage, private school remains a good investment for parents who want to opt out, but it also contributes more to rising economic and social inequality.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5018.

in new window

Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economica, 2012, 79 (316), 658–679
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5018
Contact details of provider: Postal:
IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page:

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  2. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2006. "Accounting for intergenerational income persistence: non-cognitive skills, ability and education," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19401, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Naylor, Robin & Smith, Jeremy, 2002. "Schooling Effects On Subsequent University Performance : Evidence For The Uk University Population," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 657, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Francis Green & Yu Zhu, 2010. "Overqualification, job dissatisfaction, and increasing dispersion in the returns to graduate education," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 740-763, October.
  5. Booth, Alison L & Kee, Hiau Joo, 2006. "Birth Order Matters: The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Educational Attainment," CEPR Discussion Papers 5453, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Iftikhar Hussain & Sandra McNally & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2009. "University quality and graduate wages in the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25486, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Machin, Stephen & Puhani, Patrick A., 2002. "Subject of Degree and the Gender Wage Differential: Evidence from the UK and Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 553, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Francis Green & Stephen Machin & Richard Murphy & Yu Zhu, 2008. "Competition for private and state school teachers," CEE Discussion Papers 0094, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  9. Robin Naylor & Jeremy Smith, 2004. "Degree performance of Economics students in UK universities: absolute and relative performance in prior qualifications," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(2), pages 250-265, 05.
  10. 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.
  11. Joshua Angrist & Victor Chernozhukov & Ivan Fernandez-Val, 2004. "Quantile Regression under Misspecification, with an Application to the U.S. Wage Structure," NBER Working Papers 10428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Graddy, Kathryn & Stevens, Margaret, 2003. "The Impact of School Inputs on Student Performance: An Empirical Study of Private Schools in the UK," CEPR Discussion Papers 3776, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Manning, Alan & Pischke, Jörn-Steffen, 2006. "Comprehensive versus Selective Schooling in England in Wales: What Do We Know?," IZA Discussion Papers 2072, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Smith, Jeremy & Naylor, Robin, 2001. " Determinants of Degree Performance in UK Universities: A Statistical Analysis of the 1993 Student Cohort," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(1), pages 29-60, February.
  15. Lorraine Dearden & Javier Ferri & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The effect of school quality on educational attainment and wages," IFS Working Papers W00/22, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. Robert Allen, 2016. "Revising England's Social Tables Once Again," Economics Series Working Papers 146, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  17. Thomas Lemieux, 2008. "The changing nature of wage inequality," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 21(1), pages 21-48, January.
  18. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith, 2006. "Estimating the Returns to College Quality with Multiple Proxies for Quality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 701-728, July.
  19. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Changes in Wage Inequality," CEP Special Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  20. Naylor, Robin & Smith, Jeremy & McKnight, Abigail, 2002. "Why Is There a Graduate Earnings Premium for Students from Independent Schools?," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 315-39, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5018. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.