IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Wage Premium on Tertiary Education: New Estimates for 21 OECD Countries

  • Hubert Strauss
  • Christine de la Maisonneuve
Registered author(s):

    This paper presents cross-section estimates of gross hourly wage premia on tertiary education. They are based on a unified framework for 21 OECD countries from the 1990s to the early 2000s and use international household surveys to maximise international comparability. The results of the “augmented” Mincerian wage equations point to an average hourly gross wage premium on completed tertiary education of 55% in 2001 (country-gender average), translating into a premium of close to 11% per annum of tertiary education. Wage premia display little variation over time but huge cross-country variation: at 6% they are lowest in Greece and Spain (men and women) as well as in Austria and Italy (women) while reaching 14%-18% in Hungary, Portugal, and in most Anglo-Saxon countries. Given that the wage premium is the single most important driver of private returns to education, the results presented here have potentially important implications for policies that aim at increasing investment in human capital. La prime salariale pour l'éducation supérieure : nouvelles estimations pour 21 pays de l'OCDE Cette étude présente des estimations transversales de la prime salariale horaire brute pour l’éducation supérieure qui reposent sur un cadre harmonisé pour 21 pays de l’OCDE entre les années 90 et le début des années 2000. L’étude est basée sur des enquêtes internationales auprès des ménages afin de maximiser la comparaison entre pays. L’ « extension » des équations salariales de Mincer donne comme résultat une prime salariale horaire moyenne brute à l’achèvement d’un diplôme d’éducation supérieure de 55% en 2001 (en moyenne pour les hommes et les femmes pour tous les pays), ce qui est équivalent à près de 11% par année d’éducation supérieure. Les primes salariales varient peu au cours du temps mais de manière significative à travers les pays : les plus faibles sont en Grèce et en Espagne à 6% (hommes et femmes) ainsi qu’en Autriche et en Italie (femmes) alors qu’elles atteignent 14%-18% en Hongrie, au Portugal et dans la plupart des pays anglo-saxons. Étant donné que la prime salariale est le déterminant le plus important du rendement privé de l’éducation supérieure, les résultats peuvent avoir des implications importantes pour les politiques visant l’augmentation du stock de capital humain.

    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:
    Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 403 Forbidden ( [303 See Other]--> If this is indeed the case, please notify ()

    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 589.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 20 Dec 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:589-en
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 2 rue Andre Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16
    Phone: 33-(0)-1-45 24 82 00
    Fax: 33-(0)-1-45 24 85 00
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    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:oec:ecoaaa:589-en. 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: ()

    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.