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Where Are the Returns to Lifelong Learning?

Author

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  • Coelli, Michael

    () (University of Melbourne)

  • Tabasso, Domenico

    () (ILO International Labour Organization)

Abstract

We investigate the labour market determinants and outcomes of adult participation in formal education (lifelong learning) in Australia, a country with high levels of adult education. Employing longitudinal data and fixed effects methods allows identification of effects on outcomes free of ability bias. Different trends in outcomes across groups are also allowed for. The impacts of adult education differ by gender and level of study, with small or zero labour market returns in many cases. Wage rates only increase for males undertaking university studies. For men, vocational education and training (VET) lead to higher job satisfaction and fewer weekly hours. For women, VET is linked to higher levels of satisfaction with employment opportunities and higher employment probabilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Coelli, Michael & Tabasso, Domenico, 2015. "Where Are the Returns to Lifelong Learning?," IZA Discussion Papers 9509, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9509
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Nikhil Jha & Cain Polidano, 2016. "Vocational Education and Training: A Pathway to the Straight and Narrow," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2016n21, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    adult education; lifelong learning; vocational studies; returns to education;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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