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Earnings Returns to the British Education Expansion

  • Paul J. Devereux
  • Fan Wen

We study the effects of the large expansion in British educational attainment that took place for cohorts born between 1970 and 1975. Using the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, we find that the expansion caused men to increase education by about a year on average and gain about 8% higher wages; women obtained a slightly greater increase in education and a similar increase in wages. Clearly, there was a sizeable gain from being born late enough to take advantage of the greater educational opportunities offered by the expansion. Treating the expansion as an exogenous increase in educational attainment, we obtain instrumental variables estimates of returns to schooling of about 6% for both men and women.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/6387
File Function: First version, 2011
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201111.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201111
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  1. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2003. "Why the apple doesn't fall far: understanding intergenerational transmission of human capital," CeMMAP working papers CWP16/03, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Haroon Chowdry & Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Alissa Goodman & Anna Vignoles, 2010. "Widening participation in higher education: analysis using linked administrative data," IFS Working Papers W10/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Samuel Berlinski & Sebastian Galiani, 2004. "The effect of a large expansion of pre-primary school facilities on preschool attendance and maternal employment," IFS Working Papers W04/30, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Paul J. Devereux & Robert A. Hart, 2009. "Forced to be Rich? Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Britain," Working Papers 200940, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  5. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2004. "Does Education Raise Productivity, or Just Reflect it?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(499), pages F499-F517, November.
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  7. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Paul J. Devereux, 2009. "Improved JIVE Estimators for Overidentified Linear Models with and without Heteroskedasticity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(2), pages 351-362, May.
  8. Dickson, Matt & Smith, Sarah, 2011. "What Determines the Return to Education: An Extra Year or a Hurdle Cleared?," IZA Discussion Papers 5524, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  11. Dickson, Matt, 2009. "The Causal Effect of Education on Wages Revisited," IZA Discussion Papers 4419, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Costas Meghir, 2010. "When you are born matters: the impact of date of birth on educational outcomes in England," DoQSS Working Papers 10-09, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
  13. Robert A. Hart & Paul J. Devereux, 2006. "Real wage cyclicality of job stayers, within-company job movers, and between-company job movers," Open Access publications 10197/314, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  14. Jorn-Steffen Pischke & Till von Wachter, 2008. "Zero returns to compulsory schooling in Germany: evidence and interpretation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19509, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  15. Colm Harmon & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for the United Kingdom," Open Access publications 10197/647, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  16. Andrea Ichino & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2004. "The Long-Run Educational Cost of World War II," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 57-86, January.
  17. Brunello, Giorgio & Miniaci, Raffaele, 1999. "The economic returns to schooling for Italian men. An evaluation based on instrumental variables1," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 509-519, November.
  18. Levin, Jesse & Plug, Erik J. S., 1999. "Instrumenting education and the returns to schooling in the Netherlands," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 521-534, November.
  19. Uusitalo, R. & Conneely, K., 1998. "Estimating Heterogeneous Treatment Effects in the Becker Schooling Model," University of Helsinki, Department of Economics 435, Department of Economics.
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