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Returns to Education in Europe – Detailed Results from a Harmonized Survey

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  • Middendorf, Torge

Abstract

We use the European Community Household Panel, a harmonized data set covering the countries of the European Union, to provide detailed estimates of the returns to education. Our results can be summarized as follows. Firstly, average returns to education have been mostly stable during the second half of the 1990s and are highest in Portugal and Ireland and lowest in the UK and Italy. Secondly, returns to schooling are significantly negatively related to the educational attainment of the population. Thirdly, for most countries we find significant cohort effects and these are in general uniform across countries implying lower returns to education for younger cohorts. Fourthly, in most countries schooling exerts a significantly stronger impact on wages at the top of the wage distribution, aggravating within-group inequality. Finally, we provide evidence that the more pronounced the difference in returns to education along the wage distribution, the higher the average return to education.

Suggested Citation

  • Middendorf, Torge, 2008. "Returns to Education in Europe – Detailed Results from a Harmonized Survey," Ruhr Economic Papers 65, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:65
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    Cited by:

    1. Rappen, Hermann & Kambeck, Rainer & Siemers, Lars-H. R., 2007. "Nachhaltige Finanzpolitik: Indikatoren zur Evaluation langfristiger Haushaltsentwicklungen einsetzen. Drucksache 14/3590," RWI Projektberichte, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, number 70847.
    2. Concetta Mendolicchio & Thomas Rhein, 2014. "The gender gap of returns on education across West European countries," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(3), pages 219-249, May.
    3. Georgios Fotopoulos, 2012. "Nonlinearities in regional economic growth and convergence: the role of entrepreneurship in the European union regions," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 48(3), pages 719-741, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Returns to schooling; cohort effects; quantile regression;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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