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Education and Wage Inequality in Portugal

This article summarises the recent literature on the relationship between inequality in wages and education for Portugal. The main conclusions are the following. First, Portu-gal is one of the OECD countries with lowest educational level. At the same time, re-turns to education are large, and suggest that skills are particularly valuable in the Por-tuguese labour market. Second, over the last two decades returns to education increased steadily, which suggests that skill-biased technological change is partly responsible for the observed pattern. Analysis of the returns across educational levels and the dispersion of returns over the wage distribution reveals that education may have helped to increase both between-group and within-group inequality. Third, the recent evolution of average years of education has lead to a considerable increase in the standard measures of over-education, particularly among younger cohorts. Since schooling mis-matches are associated with lower wages, recent changes in the educational composition of the workforce may have conse-quences for the wage distribution. Fourth, some conclusions can also be established on the interaction between formal education and acquired skills. Most forms of training are associ-ated with higher wages and appear to act as remedial education. Less educated individuals are less likely to get trained. However, once trained, they obtain larger returns. Finally, analysis of employment opportunities and school-to-work transitions suggests that more edu-cated individuals benefit from better job opportunities and receive more job offers.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 1099.

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Date of creation: Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:1099
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  1. Budría, Santiago & Pereira, Pedro T., 2004. "On the Returns to Training in Portugal," IZA Discussion Papers 1429, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Pereira, Pedro T. & Martins, Pedro S., 2000. "Does Education Reduce Wage Inequality? Quantile Regressions Evidence from Fifteen European Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 120, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Pereira, Pedro T. & Martins, Pedro S., 2001. "Is there a Return-Risk Link in Education?," IZA Discussion Papers 321, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Kiker, B. F. & Santos, Maria C. & de Oliveira, M. Mendes, 1997. "Overeducation and undereducation: Evidence for Portugal," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 111-125, April.
  5. Duncan, Greg J. & Hoffman, Saul D., 1981. "The incidence and wage effects of overeducation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 75-86, February.
  6. Cardoso, Ana Rute, 1998. "Earnings Inequality in Portugal: High and Rising?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(3), pages 325-43, September.
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