London School of Economics Centre for the Economics of Education LSE
Centre for the Economics of Education  (CEE)

Abstract for:

Graduate Returns, Degree Class Premia and Higher Education Expansion in the UK

Robin  Naylor,  Jeremy  Smith,  Shqiponja  Telhaj,  November 2015
Paper No' CEPDP1392: | Full paper (pdf)
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Keywords: Graduate returns, higher education participation, ability composition

JEL Classification: J31; J24; I23; D82

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This Paper is published under the following series: CEP Discussion Papers
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We investigate the extent to which graduate returns vary according to the class of degree achieved by UK university students and examine changes over time in estimated degree class premia. Using a variety of complementary datasets for individuals born in Britain around 1970 and aged between 30 and 40, we estimate an hourly wage premium for a ‘good’ (relative to a ‘lower’) class of degree of 7% to 9%, implying a wide spread around the average graduate premium. We also estimate the premium for a good relative to a lower degree for different cohorts (those born between the mid-1960s and early-1980s) and find evidence that the premium for a good degree has risen over time as the proportions of cohorts participating in higher education have increased.

This paper has been published as:
Graduate returns, degree class premia and higher education expansion in the UK, Robin Naylor, Jeremy Smith and Shqiponja Telhaj, Oxford Economic Papers, Volume 68, Issue 2, April 2016