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Subject Choice and Earnings of UK Graduates

  • Chevalier, Arnaud

    ()

    (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Using a survey of a cohort of UK graduates, linked to administrative data on higher education participation, this paper investigates the labour market attainment of recent graduates by subject of study. We document a large heterogeneity in the mean wages of graduates from different subjects and a considerably larger one within subject with individuals with the most favourable unobserved characteristics obtaining wages almost twice as large as those with the worst. Moreover, gender differences in wages within subjects are also large. We then simulate a graduate tax to calculate a willingness to pay – in form of tuition fees – to capture these subject wage premia.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5652.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economics of Education Review, 2011, 30 (6), 1187-1201
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5652
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  1. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2004. "Ability sorting and the returns to college major," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 343-375.
  2. Arnaud Chevalier & Steve Gibbons & Andy Thorpe & Sherria Hoskins, 2007. "Students' Academic Self Perception," Working Papers 200729, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  3. Walker, Ian & Zhu, Yu, 2010. "Differences by Degree: Evidence of the Net Financial Rates of Return to Undergraduate Study for England and Wales," IZA Discussion Papers 5254, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Massimiliano Bratti & Robin Naylor & Jeremy Smith, 2005. "Variations in the Wage Returns to a First Degree: Evidence from the British Cohort Study 1970," UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics unimi-1005, Universitá degli Studi di Milano.
  5. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  6. Walker, Ian & Zhu, Yu, 2005. "The College Wage Premium, Overeducation, and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 1627, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Lorraine Dearden & Emla Fitzsimons & Alissa Goodman & Greg Kaplan, 2008. "Higher Education Funding Reforms in England: The Distributional Effects and the Shifting Balance of Costs," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(526), pages F100-F125, 02.
  8. Massimiliano BRATTI & Luca MANCINI, 2003. "Differences in Early Occupational Earnings of UK Male Graduates by Degree Subject: Evidence from the 1980-1993 USR," Working Papers 189, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  9. Beffy, Magali & Fougère, Denis & Maurel, Arnaud, 2009. "Choosing the Field of Study in Post-Secondary Education: Do Expected Earnings Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 4127, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Walde, Klaus, 2000. "Efficiency and Equity Effects of Subsidies to Higher Education," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 702-22, October.
  11. James, Estelle, et al, 1989. "College Quality and Future Earnings: Where Should You Send Your Child to College?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 247-52, May.
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