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Sheer Class? The Impact Of Degree Performance On Graduate Labour Market Outcomes

  • Naylor, Robin

    (University of Warwick)

  • Smith, Jeremy

    (University of Warwick)

  • McKnight, Abigail

    (London School of Economics)

We exploit individual-level administrative data for whole populations of UK university students for the leaving cohorts of 1985-1993 to investigate the determinants of graduate occupational earnings. Among other results, we find that there are significant differences in the occupational earnings of leavers, according to university attended, subject studied, and degree class awarded, ceteris paribus. We also find that the premium associated with the award of a high degree class increased between 1985/6 and 1993/4, a period of substantial expansion in the graduate population. We suggest that this is consistent with a signalling model of the returns to higher education qualifications.

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Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 659.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:659
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  1. Dolton, Peter J & Makepeace, G H, 1990. "The Earnings of Economics Graduates," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(399), pages 237-50, March.
  2. Naylor, Robin & Smith, Jeremy & McKnight, Abigail, 2002. "Why Is There a Graduate Earnings Premium for Students from Independent Schools?," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 315-39, October.
  3. Smith, Jeremy & McKnight, Abigail & Naylor, Robin, 2000. "Graduate Employability: Policy and Performance in Higher Education in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(464), pages F382-411, June.
  4. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  5. Blundell, Richard, et al, 2000. "The Returns to Higher Education in Britain: Evidence from a British Cohort," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(461), pages F82-99, February.
  6. Massimiliano Bratti, 2001. "Does the Choice of University Matter? A Study of the Differences across UK Universites in Life Sciences Students' Degree Performance," HEW 0012003, EconWPA.
  7. Jeremy P. Smith & Robin A. Naylor, 2001. "Dropping out of university: A statistical analysis of the probability of withdrawal for UK university students," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 164(2), pages 389-405.
  8. Dolton, Peter J & Greenaway, David & Vignoles, Anna, 1997. "'Whither Higher Education?' An Economic Perspective for the Dearing Committee of Inquiry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 710-26, May.
  9. McNabb, Robert & Pal, Sarmistha & Sloane, Peter, 2002. "Gender Differences in Educational Attainment: The Case of University Students in England and Wales," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(275), pages 481-503, August.
  10. Arulampalam, W. & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2002. "University of Warwick," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 9, Royal Economic Society.
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