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Reaching High: Occupational Sorting and Higher Education Wage Inequality in the UK

  • Jan Kleibrink
  • Maren M. Michaelsen

    ()

We analyse wage differentials between Higher Education graduates in the UK, differentiating between polytechnic and university graduates. Polytechnic graduates earned on average lower wages than university graduates prior to the UK Further and Higher Education Act of 1992. The reform changed the system of Higher Education by giving all polytechnics university status. We show that wage differentials can be explained by a glass ceiling which prevented polytechnic graduates from reaching managerial and professional occupations. After the reform, they overtook graduates of traditional universities in terms of average wages.

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Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0377.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0377
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  1. Delaney, Liam & Harmon, Colm & Redmond, Cathy, 2011. "Parental education, grade attainment and earnings expectations among university students," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1136-1152.
  2. Iftikhar Hussain & Sandra McNally & Shqiponja Telhaj, 2009. "University quality and graduate wages in the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25486, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Francis Green & Stephen Machin & Richard Murphy & Yu Zhu, 2012. "The Changing Economic Advantage from Private Schools," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 79(316), pages 658-679, October.
  4. Bauer, Thomas K. & Haisken-DeNew, John P., 2000. "Employer Learning and the Returns to Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 146, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Joseph G. Altonji & Charles R. Pierret, . "Employer Learning and Statistical Discrimination," IPR working papers 97-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  6. Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2008. "The College Wage Premium and the Expansion of Higher Education in the UK," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(4), pages 695-709, December.
  7. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Educational Inequality and The Expansion of UK Higher Education," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(5), pages 578-596, November.
  8. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 1995. "Selection corrections for panel data models under conditional mean independence assumptions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 115-132, July.
  9. Nigel C. O'Leary & Peter J. Sloane, 2011. "The Wage Premium For University Education In Great Britain During A Decade Of Change," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 79(4), pages 740-764, 07.
  10. Belfield, C. R. & Fielding, A., 2001. "Measuring the relationship between resources and outcomes in higher education in the UK," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 589-602, December.
  11. Lange, Fabian & Topel, Robert, 2006. "The Social Value of Education and Human Capital," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
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