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Educational Qualifications and Wage Inequality: Evidence for Europe

  • Budria, Santiago
  • Telhado-Pereira, Pedro

This paper explores the connection between education and wage inequality in nine European countries. We exploit the quantile regression technique to calculate returns to lower secondary, upper secondary and tertiary education at different points of the wage distribution. We find that in most countries returns to tertiary education are highly increasing when moving from the lower to the upper quantiles. This finding suggests that an educational expansion towards tertiary education is expected to increase overall within-groups inequality in Europe. In turn, returns to secondary education are quite homogeneous across quantiles, suggesting that an educational expansion towards secondary education is expected to have only a limited impact on within-groups dispersion. Using data from the last decades, we describe changes in the conditional wage distribution of the surveyed countries. A common feature in Europe is that over the last years wage dispersion increased within the high educated.

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File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/91/1/MPRA_paper_91.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 91.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:91
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  2. Alberto Abadie, 1997. "Changes in Spanish labor income structure during the 1980's: a quantile regression aproach," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 21(2), pages 253-272, May.
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  7. Joop Hartog & Pedro Pereira & Jose Vieira, 2001. "Changing returns to education in Portugal during the 1980s and early 1990s: OLS and quantile regression estimators," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(8), pages 1021-1037.
  8. Pereira, Pedro Telhado & Martins, Pedro Silva, 2000. "Does Education Reduce Wage Inequality? Quantile Regressions Evidence from Fifteen European Countries," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp379, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
  9. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1994. "Changes in the U.S. Wage Structure 1963-1987: Application of Quantile Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 405-58, March.
  10. Machin, Stephen, 1997. "The decline of labour market institutions and the rise in wage inequality in Britain," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 647-657, April.
  11. Fersterer, Josef & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "Are Austrian returns to education falling over time?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 73-89, February.
  12. Harmon, Colm & Hogan, Vincent & Walker, Ian, 2001. "Dispersion in the Economic Return to Schooling," CEPR Discussion Papers 3037, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Peter Dolton & Mary Silles, 2001. "Over education in the graduate labour market: some evidence from alumni data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19546, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  14. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Trends in U. S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2095, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  15. Eswar S. Prasad, 2004. "The Unbearable Stability of the German Wage Structure: Evidence and Interpretation," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(2), pages 354-385.
  16. 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).
  17. Barro, Robert J, 2000. "Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  18. Moshe Buchinsky, 1998. "Recent Advances in Quantile Regression Models: A Practical Guideline for Empirical Research," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 88-126.
  19. Hartog, Joop, 2000. "Over-education and earnings: where are we, where should we go?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 131-147, April.
  20. José A. F. Machado & José Mata, 2001. "Earning functions in Portugal 1982-1994: Evidence from quantile regressions," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 115-134.
  21. Tom Clark & Jayne Taylor, 1999. "Income inequality: a tale of two cycles?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 20(4), pages 387-408, December.
  22. De Gregorio, Jose & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2002. "Education and Income Inequality: New Evidence from Cross-Country Data," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(3), pages 395-416, September.
  23. Giorgio Brunello, 2010. "The effects of cohort size on European earnings," Journal of Population Economics, European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(1), pages 273-290, January.
  24. Vieira, Jose A. C., 1999. "Returns to education in Portugal," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 535-541, November.
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